Taking Domino’s Gluten-Free Pizza to the Lab – Is It Really Gluten-Free?

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As we mentioned on the CeliAct Blog a few weeks ago, we were just as interested in the Domino’s gluten-free pizza controversy as the rest of you. For anyone who follows a gluten-free diet, a gluten-free product launch from an establishment like Domino’s is extremely exciting.

… at least for the first 15 seconds.

For many celiacs, this excitement quickly turned to disappointment as the disclaimers and warnings were made painfully clear. Domino’s new gluten-free pizza is made with gluten-free ingredients. But, it is NOT made in a gluten-free kitchen, so cross-contamination can’t be ruled out. Domino’s was very transparent about this risk.

The gluten-free community was up in arms. At CeliAct, we were curious.

So, we decided to use the nationally acclaimed laboratory that we use to test CeliAct for gluten. This time, we would test Domino’s gluten-free pizza.

Well, the results just came in and they are very, very interesting…

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The Domino’s Gluten-Free Lab Test

 

Since we sell supplements specifically for people with celiac disease, making sure that our supplements are gluten-free is the most important step we take in producing CeliAct. For that reason, we use a lab that tests down to a sensitivity of 3 parts per million (ppm). To put that into context, the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO) tests down to a sensitivity of 10 ppm. World leading celiac experts, including Dr. Fasano, have suggested that the FDA use a threshold of 20 ppm to conclude that a food is gluten-free or not.

We decided that one pizza was not enough. To get more representative results, we tested Domino’s gluten-free pizzas from 3 different cities across the United States. Pizzas from New Orleans, Boston and Washington, DC were used for the test.

Once at the lab, each pizza was homogenized (think high-grade food processor) to ensure that the whole pizza was tested, and not just any small piece.

 

The Results of the Domino’s Gluten-Free Lab Test

 

  • New Orleans: Undetectable (less than 3 ppm)
  • Boston: Undetectable (less than 3 ppm)
  • Washington, DC: 7 ppm

*** The Domino’s locations did NOT know beforehand about the test ***

 

What These Test Results Mean

 

This is not a wholesale endorsement of Domino’s gluten-free pizzas. Obviously, the threat of gluten exposure is very serious, and we only tested 3 locations (out of over 5,000 locations in the United States).

While I urge caution in your decision to eat gluten-free pizza from Domino’s (and also keep the lab results firmly in mind), I think it’s interesting that we were so quick to attack Domino’s. No, they don’t have a dedicated oven for their gluten-free pizzas, but Outback Steakhouse doesn’t have a gluten-free kitchen. Neither do Legal Seafood, P.F. Changs, Subway, or any of the other national or local restaurants with gluten-free menus we love so much.

Is it OK for us to take the risk and eat at these establishments? Is it one of those things where we need to weigh the harms versus the benefits and just act, similar to eating unhealthy food, smoking or drinking? Should we discourage the “gluten-free” label from being haphazardly thrown around, or should we encourage the rapid growth of this industry?

Makes you almost miss the days when we didn’t even have a choice…

So what do you guys think? Let us know in the comments below.

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Comments ( 126 )

  • Pat Ward

    I think it is remarkable that organizations such as Domino’s, Subway, Outback, etc. are adding items to their menu’s to make it easier for people that suffer gluten and wheat allergies. It has become a nationally recognized market and hopefully will progress to being contaminate free in the future. I was able to enjoy a gluten free pizza at an Izzy’s restaraunt the other night. I had an enjoyable evening without spending a fortune or having to figure out what i could eat. Thanks to those that look to make my life more normal….

  • StaceyS

    I am always willing to at least try it out if they have a GF menu / selection. If I react or my daughters react then we know not to try it again. It all comes down to your sensitivity and personal choice. I am glad they are trying to meet the needs of the growing number of people with this required diet.

  • Rae Taylor

    I gave the gluten free pizza from Dominos a try and not only was it good, I had absolutely no problems. Next, I’m going to try the Gluten Free pizza from Mellow Mushroom. I’m not sure if that is a national chain or not but we have them here in Birmingham. Finally, those of us with CD are getting more choices.

  • Egk

    I didnt attack dominos. I objected to the nfca amber designation which makes the GF label even more confusing.

    Do you plan to test anything else?

  • Jennifer

    How did you obtain the pizzas? Were the restaurants aware these pizzas would be tested?

    I’d be curious to see results in a few months when the hoopla has died down, and routines are established. Will there still be attention to gluten free detail? Will their gf equipment become contaminated? How do these kitchens compare to the layouts of smaller or more rural locations?

    I know that’s beyond your scope but I’m curious. I’m a chemist and I can’t thank you enough for conducting this testing. I lost my career die to undiagnosed celiac and I’m glad to hear when good tests are conducted. This was so appreciated!

    I would LOVE if you continued testing foods as a way to raise awareness and educate.

  • Cara

    I am too sensitive to even try anything I can’t trust to be truly gluten free. Last time I ate in a restaurant where I took every precaution and was assured by the manager my food would be gluten free I broke out in Dermatitis Herpetiformis, the dreaded gluten rash which literally took almost 5 months to go away. No pizza is worth that risk.
    I think the fact that a gluten free diet has become almost a fad diet is a double edged sword. More awareness and more products have made my life easier in many ways. However it also means that kitchen staff and restaurants may not take the care to be sure food sold as gluten free is totally safe. because a lot of people now who ask for gluten free are not doing so because they have celiac disease. While I’ll never try a Domino’s Pizza, I do think the fact that they were up front about cross contamination issues was an honest move, much better than claiming to be gluten free and hiding any potential problems.

  • Gwendolyn

    Any restaurant kitchen using wheat flour regularly (hello pizza joints) is going to be literally coated with it. No matter how much they clean, it will be on every surface area. Thus, cross-contamination is going to happen.

  • Janna

    I am gluten free but cross-contamination is not an issue for me luckily. I admire that Domino’s was so truthful and forthright in their advertising of their gluten free. Many places are not and slap GF on things, raise the price and watch us line up. Subway does a very good job of limiting the cross-contamination (at least the ones I go to) I hope that Domino’s does the same and if they do there are few risks for people like me.

  • Tyson

    I’m excited to see that Domino’s has an option. I’m a non-celiac, but still have gluten intolerance. The mild exposure is something I’m willing to risk. A local pizza place where we live in Illinois always bakes their GF pizzas on an aluminum pan to help avoid the kinds of cross contamination that easily happens as food brushes against cooking and prep surfaces. The parts per million results of your tests were very telling. Domino’s seems to have figured out how to do it right.

  • Mary

    WOW.. First off.. I never knew that Subway has a GF menu.. is it GF subs.. I would really love to know..
    As for Domino’s I find it amazing how many organizations are becoming aware of allergen foods and are trying their best to offer these foods to the customers.. Maybe in time these organizations will redo their facilities to make Gluten free and allergen free kitchens..

  • Rachel

    I tried it twice. The first time on the day they Announced it. I was told I was the first person in the Pittsburgh area to give it a try. I enjoyed the pizza and did not get sick. I normally get sick with in the first five minutes. The second time was on a very busy Friday night. Was I was alittle nervous but again did not get sick.
    Now I have eaten at Red Robin, which have a GF menu and have got sick almost every time – I decided I can’t eat there any more.

  • LuAnnMarie

    We live near Duluth/Superior where Subway is conducting the test market for their gluten free line. We have been to 4 of the Subways in that area & I cannot tell you how impressed we were with their handling of the new line. They are SO CAREFUL with cross contamination that each sandwich is cut with a different plastic knife & every utensil is then thrown away. They change gloves between each gluten free sandwich & make sure that new paper is placed between each order. We have not gotten sick from their sandwiches once & we are extremely sensitive. (Both my husband & myself are Celiac)I highly recommend everyone at least try the new gluten free sandwiches at Subway when they become available everywhere. We are very impressed with their knowledge of gluten & cross contamination.

  • Dee

    Thank you for pointing out that most other restaurants don’t have a dedicated GF kitchen either. I thank Domino’s for being totally upfront about the possible risk to those who are very sensitive. As in most choices in life, each person needs to decide for themself whether or not something will work for them.

  • Katie

    I didn’t attack Domino’s either, but I find it silly that they come out with a gluten-free pizza and then say that the majority of people who eat gluten-free shouldn’t have it. If I wouldn’t also be risking my son’s health, I might try it. But I’m really concerned that they didn’t(don’t) plan to educate their employees regarding safe handling.

  • Linda

    I think the difference is that while other restaurants don’t have gluten-free kitchens, they do take some precautions to avoid cross contamination. The fact that Dominoes does nothing to prevent cross contamination is a huge concern. Regardless of your tests, knowing that they don’t even use a dedicated pizza cutter is enough reason for me to avoid it.

  • Melissa

    I am glad to hear that at least two of the ones that were tested were less than 3 PPM! I also ate one the week it came out and had zero problems, and I am in Austin, Texas. I hope that the backlash doesn’t make other chains afraid to start offering the GF selections.

  • Niki

    If I had a gluten sensitivity/allergy/intolerance I might be willing to try Domino’s new “GF” pizza. However, my daughters & I have celiac disease. I’m sure I don’t need to remind anyone else with celiac that no symptoms does not equal no damage. I wouldn’t be willing to risk my family’s health when I can make my own GF pizza at home (where I know all the ingredient). What got me upset was the fact that this pizza which is at risk for cross-contamination at some locations, especially those in small towns, was endorsed the NFCA. I don’t feel like a celiac organization should endorse something that is not safe for the core group of people it is supposed to represent. I agree with the person above who wondered if these locations knew they were being tested.

  • DeeMarie

    I don’t know about other PF Chaings, but the one in Chicago HAS a dedicated gluten free kitchen and is Certified Gluten Free. Chaings is part of the Let Us Entertain You group and most of their restaurants are certified gluten free. Regarding the pizza issue, I would be willing to try a national chain over a local pizza restaurant. It would seem to me that they would be more careful because of the “name” than a local pizza joint. We have a local pizza place that claims gluten free pizza that my sister tried and she had no problem, but when I ate it I did not have a full blown Celiac attack, but I was uncomfortable the rest of the day and knew I had been poisoned by that demon cross-contaminated gluten!

  • Tiffany Tokos

    Domino’s states the crust is ‘gluten-free’ but they don’t sell the crust they sell a pizza. They and NFCA say its not safe for celiacs. If it isn’t safe they shouldn’t market in a way that implies that it is. This is why I think there has been and continues to be an uproar. It is wrong to lead people on and not everyone is going to understand that the pizza isn’t safe. Whether it tests safe or not is only part of the issue. As others said a celiac organization involved in helping market an unsafe for celiac product is very unsettling and no doubt came with a big financial reward.

  • Debbie

    this is great! Some of us that are gluten intolerant really appreciate this. the test results are good.

  • Karen Broussard

    Fascinating. I know that I still wouldn’t take the gamble with my 8-year-old’s health…it’s just not worth it. I do not have Celiac myself — just our younger son has it, and my husband and older son have the gene for it. So I did actually try Domino’s GF pizza from the store right here in my neighborhood a few weeks ago. (Unfortunately) it was delicious. It made me even more frustrated that Celiacs can’t enjoy it, because Domino’s has done a good job with the crust. I think perhaps something good can come of this long-term and that perhaps they’ll be able to offer a safe version of this pizza in the future. It would require careful training — and at least a small area that could be a dedicated GF zone with a clean surface, separate pizza cutters, separate sauce and GF toppings, etc. But with some locations at least, this could be done. For now, however, I still think it’s only safe for people like me who don’t have to eat GF but prefer to dramatically reduce the gluten in their diets.

  • Dawn

    I have a question. Did the Domino’s locations know in advance that you would be testing the pizza or were they ordered blindly and tested?

  • Melonie

    We live in rural Arkansas. I would be interested to see the results done on some Domino’s from small towns as opposed to big cities. Do they take the same care? Often times our Podunk restaurants aren’t up to the same par as metropolis ones.

  • Sandy

    I had a Domino’s GF pizza in Waco, Texas Sat night, and finished it off for lunch today…no reaction at all!! It was GOOD, but expensive!!

  • Diane

    Thank you for testing. It’s good to know your results. I think the uproar over Donino’s “warning” was a bit unnecessary as, it is true, most other restaurants have gluten-free menus without assuring any kind of GF kitchen or lack of cross contamination. Domino’s seems to be simply stating the truth that all these other places do not. I am so excited that Domino’s has this new GF pizza. It’s delicious, and I no longer have to cry when my husband and kids have pizza night. Now the world just needs to work on getting GF to price-match regular stuff, too!! I guess it all depends on your sensitivity; if you are super sensitive, then it’s good to be forewarned that there MAY be cross-contamination (as you must also expect at Outback, P.F. Changs, etc. where they do not warn us.) Maybe Domino’s should be applauded for their honesty and their attempt to help Celiac’s enjoy pizza again.

  • Sean

    You should check out both Red Robin and Cheeseburger in Paradise…Red Robin gets their burger rolls from French Meadow (I can’t seem to find anythign but bread on their site) but they are awesome and Cheeseburger in Paradise’s Gluten-free menu is just as big as the regular, like they just took the regular menu and switched what needed to be switched to become Gluten-free…Thank god for Jimmy Buffet!

  • MIchael

    I liked the fact that Dominoes stepped out and created this product. However, to plainly state that they dont make any attempt to try and create an environment to cook the pizza, is a turn off. I have a Red Brick Pizza where I live and they do Gluten Free Pizzas. They cook the pizza in a seperate area in the oven and everything is prepared in a very careful and tedious way. I also have eaten at PF Changs and they do make their food in a dedicated area of the kitchen on all cookwear is only for the GF food. My sensitivity is such that any small amount of gluten contamination is a real bad thing. I hope that the Dominoes locations will try and make these with care for all of us with Celiac and Gluten issues.

  • Donna

    I’d like to know what the toppings were on the tested pizza’s. I would be afraid of the toppings since sometimes the ladle of sauce is rubbed on the wheat crust and then the GF crust. Do they use squeeze bottles, do they change gloves, do they cook the crust on foil or a pan? I’d still be afraid with many variables occurring.

  • Debra

    We have ordered the Dominos Pizza for my daughter 3 times. Before I ordered the first time, I stopped in the store and spoke with the manager to make sure the food handlers would be trained and understood the serious consequences if her pizza was not handled properly. They were wonderful. Each time I have placed an order, I remind them that my daughters pizza cannot come in contact with wheat and they have been so understanding. My daughter is thrilled with her pizza and has had no problems. I see no difference between Dominos and other restaurants that have GF menu items.

  • Jen

    As the mom of a 12 year old boy with Celiac- who just wants to go out for pizza with his friends- I am thrilled to see so many more pizza places with GF options! Life has no guarantees and ultimately we can’t control everything unless we hide out at home. But I always ask how / where they are prepared just to raise a flag of awareness that it really does matter and to see if the question catches them off guard (a good warning sign).

  • KJ

    Most of the objections I’ve seen have NOT been about a lack of a dedicated gf oven or facility, but rather because Domino’s wasn’t going to train their staff at all or take any kind of basic precautions to prevent cross-contamination (e.g. using fresh pizza cutters and toppings, so the toppings and cutters will have residue from the normal pizzas in/on them). Is this not actually the case? Are they actually using fresh toppings, etc.?

    For me, this is absolutely vital to whether or not I would risk trying the pizza. I have celiac disease but no immediate symptoms, so I can’t tell if my food is cross contaminated.

  • Kathleen

    I had a GF pizza from Domino’s today with mushrooms and pepperoni on top. They list the items that shouldn’t go on a GF pizza. It was really delicious. I’ll be doing it again…

  • Cheryl

    I have been gluttened just about every time I eat out at any restaurant. I will not eat out again and really do not trust strangers to be diligent. I am healthier and happier eating at home.

  • Sybil Nassau

    The pizza from Domino’s was NOT the problem in and of itself. Evidently, the problem can occur in the local restaurants where it could not be certain the pizza would be prepared in a clean area. That’s the key. In fact, any Italian restaurant where pizza is served has flour flying every which way. In order to prepare a gf pizza that restaurant must do it in either the walk-in cooler or another area totally free from possible contamination. Chains like Outback and Legal Seafood have gone through rigorous training and inspection by the Gluten Intolerance Group Restaurant Awareness Program in order to be certified as having a gluten-free menu– that is why you can feel safe eating in those places. That said, it is still up to the consumer to ask questions and make sure their meal is being properly prepared according to established standards. . Pays your money, takes your chances. Until Domino’s settles the problem, I wouldn’t take a chance and eat it.

  • Janet Brennan

    My husband is a celiac and gluten free chef. We both love the Domino’s pizza. It seemed OK but he ate other food at a different restaurant a little before and he had a small reaction so we can’t tell yet but we are really hoping and will try it again. He is a chef at a gluten free restaurant that is closing due to high rent increase,so if anyone know who may be looking for a very very careful gluten free chef in Manhattan or Brooklyn or Queens. Let me know.

    Janet Brennan
    bklyngym@Yahoo.com

  • Kim Schultz-Ferrentn

    I think the real issue is why are we hoping for processed for to become available to us? By eating at establishments like Dominos, Wendy’s, Subway, ect we are trading one disease (celiac) for a large possibilities of other diseases. New need to take responsiblilty of our own bodies and go back to eating whole foods-not some processed garage that will slowly kill you or your child over time. Americans – please wake up!

  • Pam duval

    Loved Dominos pizza, no problems! As a precauction, I took a gluten ease just before eating. I also love Fuel Pizza and Mellow Mushroom. When I ever have a doubt of cross contamination, I always take gluten ease. It works better than an pain pill. Taking Celiact on a regular baises helps a lot.

  • Theresa

    We have order it 2 times in Vermilion Ohio. And my husband has happy with it. Yes, its still a gamble every time. It always is.
    Still Its wonderful that company’s are trying to help find ways to help.

  • Dianne Olsen

    I am coeliac and so is my daughter and we have eaten Dominos GF pizza here in New Zealand several times. We have had no reaction or symptoms which have occurred from other fast food restaurants we have tried and so I am stoked I get a night of cooking now and then. What is gluten ease ? and what does it do ?

  • Anne

    I have just seen a very disterbing commercial from IHOPS , they add pancake batter to their omlettes . I don’t know who to contact that if your resteraunt does this that it has to be disclosed . Ommlets are one of the items I felt would be safe.

  • Kim Daniels

    Where is that darn subway sandwich? i live right across the street from one and have been asking them everytime i go there for it i usually get a salad and they don’t know what i’m talking about?

  • Madi Bader-DeWitt

    I didn’t wait for your test. [bad me] I missed pizza and the frozen GF versions just didn’t make the grade.
    I happen to be one of the 0.01% of celiacs with severe wheat allergy in addition to the disease, so I knew if the local Domino’s was not being careful, I’d pay with 3 days of upset stomach and the usual hives. Lucky me! My St. Louis Domino’s did good. I’ve had their pizza three times with no ill effects.

  • Eleanor Creasey

    I sure wish all restaurants offering gluten-free were required to do random testing.

  • Lorre Hopkins

    I think we should continue to encourage and support restaurants that want to take on the challenge of providing Gluten Free options, but at the same time continue to educate ad guide them. After all, we didn’t get this mastered over night either. We don’t want to give them such a hard time they quit trying, but there is a definite need to clearly tell them how we want them to prepare our food, and make sure thy understand every detail. I’ve noticed most places I go don’t completely understand the difference between gluten free food and gluten free preparation. Just because french fries don’t contain gluten, that doesn’t mean they can cook them in a regular fryer. I still think it has gotten so much better, and we need to support these restaurants with regular visits to ensure they continue to provide this service!!

  • EE

    I’d like to know if the Boston, New Orleans & DC Dominos separate the toppings (uncontaminated toppings in containers apart from gluten-contaminated toppings) and require glove-changing to minimize cross-contamination. CELIACT, can you please provide this information?

    After speaking with the manager at our local Dominos (8 East Bridge Street Dublin, OH 43017 (614) 761-0111), I would expect significant cross-contamination. They take NO measures to prevent it. I’d like to know if the cross-contamination risks are comparable.

    The results of CeliAct’s tests are certainly encouraging. Maybe the amount of cross contamination that occurs is much lower than we would anticipate.

  • Jeanne

    I enjoyed the Domino’s GF pizza very much and had no reaction. My daughter, who’s not Celiac, sampled mine and liked it too. The young man at the restaurant put down fresh wax paper, used fresh gloves, fresh implements. I was impressed.

  • Becky

    Through, I have not been tested to have full blown Celiac, the reaction to even a small amount is so bad that I have ended up in the ER unable to breath six times this year alone. Therefore, unless businesses are willing to safeguard their GF products from cross- contamination I would rather them not tease comsumers by offering GF items that could require me to use my epic-pen or a trip to the ER.
    Too many people seem to think that when you say you can’t have gluten that it is some sort of “fad”. People with fish allergies are taken more serious then those of us who require no “gluten”. How sad.

  • Wendy

    My Dominos in PA doesnt have it on the menu and I sent them an email and got no reply- is it test markets only?

  • Samantha

    My husband and I ate at Red Lobster last night. I asked the waiter to keep the croutons off my salad because of a wheat allergy (I find saying wheat is easier than gluten), and ordered my dinner. In about five minutes he came back with a list of what I could order safely, and said the fish I had ordered was not safe. What a sweetheart! I ordered something off the ‘safe’ menu, and enjoyed a pain-free dinner/rest of the evening. That was going above and beyond. He got a very good tip…

  • Shelley

    I tried Domino’s G-Free pizza tonight–my second time ordering it and my second time sick from it. The crust may be gluten free but the pizza as a whole is not. I had gone two weeks without any cross-contamination issues until tonight, so that’s it for me and Domino’s. I am glad they are giving GF a try though—it’s encouraging–but if you have Celiac, beware.

  • Lori

    I had New Orleans Pizza tonight at first i thought it taste pretty good:D It’s expensive as well, but taste alot better then Pizza Pizza’s …but now i have broke outinto hives:( which bites bigtime:(

  • Kotsu

    In western Washington we have a marvy variety of gluten-free pizzas made by Garlic Jim’s. Some Safeway stores are even carrying three of Garlic Jim’s GF frozen pizzas: pepperoni, vegetable, 3 Cheese. In the freezer section, not only are they yummy,they’re a lot cheaper. (On sale at times for about $7.) Garlic Jim’s hot-from-the-store pizzas, being made beside regular pizzas with hand-tossed dough, do come with a warning about possible cross-contamination, obviously.

    Also, some restaurants here, like the amazing Italian place Rizzi’s Pizza in Greenwood, are using locally-made GF crusts from the stellar family bakery “Wheatless In Seattle.” Wheatless in Seattle has a dedicated GF facility producing breads, delectable pastries, cakes, pies, and more.

  • Aliblue

    Does anyone have a clue about where one could buy GF pizza with dairy free cheese, like Daiya??? Just being GF doesn’t help me enough, sigh.

  • Susan

    I tried to order a gluten free pizza from Dominos. When I asked which toppings are gluten free. I was told “nothing but the crust is gluten free” I asked “the sauce and cheese are not gluten free?” and I was again told, “nothing but the crust is gluten free”. Hmmmmm…we sort of wondered if we were just supposed to order a plain crust? We decided not to order at all. What a bummer!

  • John

    This is good news as Dominoes is a national chain and when traveling preparing our own food at home is not an option. As an aside, however, I think total gluten consumption in a given time period would be a better measure than ppm (i.e. percentage) of the food being measured. When you have a GF pizza and are eating the whole pizza that’s different than having a meal where only one side dish might have some contamination (e.g. french fries fried in oil shared with breaded chicken strips). My point is, if the fries only comprised 1/3 of the meal, then 20 ppm on the fries would be the equivalent gluten injested as 77 ppm on a pizza.

  • John

    I meant to say 7 ppm on a pizza, not 77.

  • Ashleigh

    I was also very skeptical about trying Domino’s gluten-free pizza. I am happy to say that I have eaten Domino’s gluten free pizza many times and I have not had a reaction. Stay away from the alfredo sauce and philly cheese steak, as these ingredients both contain gluten.

  • Kathleen

    I have not had any difficulties with Dominos GF pizza and I am very grateful that they have them available. They actually deliver to my house.

  • Kath

    we ate at Mellow Mushroom in Columbus, Ohio this week, my 13 y/o son is gf, and LOVED the pizza…he couldn’t shove it in fast enough! only bad thing..his 12″ pizza with 2 toppings was $20. But I guess its worth is occassionally :)

  • Jamie

    I’ve eaten at Mellow Mushroom in Columbus twice. It’s nice to have a gluten free pizza freshly prepared for me, but it’s WAY to expensive. I hope a day comes when GF foods are comparably priced everywhere. There is a local establishment, Pizza Joe’s, that offer a 10 inch GF pizza at the same price as the regular 10 inch, that’s refreshing!

  • Dawn

    Tom,
    CeliAct did get back to me they did not tell them anything in advance.

  • Katy

    I’ve never reacted when eating at Mellow Mushroom, but I’ve had mixed results in service including one visit to the 5 Points location where my boyfriend (who is not GF) never received his meal and they blamed it on MY GF pizza. Needless to say I haven’t been back to that particular location.

  • Diane

    Ate at the local Mellow Mushroom once here in GA. Service was terrible! Took an hour to get me my GF pizza, and then forgot my husband’s calzone. I wasn’t that impressed with the taste, esp for the price. The new Domino’s is really tasty in comparison.

  • Stewart

    [quote name="Rae Taylor"]I gave the gluten free pizza from Dominos a try and not only was it good, I had absolutely no problems. Next, I’m going to try the Gluten Free pizza from Mellow Mushroom. I’m not sure if that is a national chain or not but we have them here in Birmingham. Finally, those of us with CD are getting more choices.[/quote]

    Rae, I have eaten at Mellow Mushroom about once a week since they introduced their GF product. They take great care not to cross contaminate in their kitchens including having only managers build the GF pizza using segregated ingredients. If you had no problem with Domino’s who do nothing to prevent contamination, I’m confident that Mellow Mushroom will be fine. They are not “national” yet, but the company started here in Atlanta and I’ve always liked their pizza and was glad that I could start eating it again. Food Safety and Allergy Awareness are my job so I take it all very seriously.

  • Briansb

    I’ve had the Mellow Mushroom pizza, make sure you bring $$, $20 for a 12″ pizza and that was in Anniston, AL. To make things worse, it wasn’t very good. They did offer Sprecher’s GF beer, $ 5.95 for 16 oz. bottle. I should/could have gone to Outback down the street for 25% less.

  • Ashley B

    Mellow Mushroom’s GF pizza is pretty good, and i’m very picky when it comes to GF foods. I can’t wait to try Dominos pizza

  • Stu

    I will not eat Domino’s pizza, but I love Mellow Mushroom and eat there at least once a week. I am a food safety instructor who happens to be celiac so I specialize in allergy awareness. I have reviewed Mellow Mushrooms practices and they do a good job at trying to minimize contamination in their kitchens.

  • Kotsu

    I too, Cheryl! Assured by the Thai server during lengthy discussions when ordering (and yes, she spoke good English), I was served gluten in food anyway and found it too late. Assured when ordering by the Korean server as well after repeated discussions, served gluten in food anyway – again, found too late. Ditto the Mexican at two places, the Chinese place(twice), and at two IHOPs. This kind of gambling has been far too “stacked on the side of the house” for me to play anymore. It is costing me big time!! From now on when I go out the door to meet friends at a restaurant, I’ll grab a Zing bar, an Ostrich jerky stick, and a bag of On the Border tortilla chips to take with me. I can just order tea and gnosh with my buds in safety!

  • Stephane

    I have Celiac,as well and I have eaten GF pizza from Domino’s in both Solon, OH and Willoughby, OH. I got incredibly sick both times. It may be location-specific.

  • Lalosr

    You obviously do NOT have CD. There is NO product in the world that would help. Here is a portion of the product’s spiel:
    GlutenEase offers those who suffer with such intolerance assistance in digestion and assimilation of the offending proteins. GlutenEase is NOT formulated to prevent celiac symptoms.

  • LuAnnMarie

    We do not have a Domino’s near us, but I would love to try their new pizzas!

  • Christine

    I agree!!!! I am WAY too sensitive to the gluten to even take that kind of risk. And my daughter who was diagnosed 1 year and a half ago is so good about her diet at the age of 11 yrs, I am not about to risk her health into what mine has now become from “trying” to see if it will affect me. My health has gotten so bad from “trying”. I would love to find something that is GENUINELY GF like this, but until then, I will stick to cooking from scratch every night to ensure mine and my daughters health and hope to avoid her from having the problems I now have.

  • Kelly

    And there aren’t crumbs from the other breads everywhere?

  • Katy

    That is wonderful to hear!

  • Egk

    PFChangs, Wendys
    Thank you very, very much

  • Egk

    And yet p
    Enty of peoplevsay they cant there. What is it with PF?

  • Andrea

    Yes, can you test a control scenario? That is, if you make a gluten free pizza in a gluten free kitchen, would you still get 3 ppm or would it come back lower? What is the lower threshold of this test? It would help to put the results in context.

  • Maddieaddie

    We got a full dose of gluten at P.F. Chang’s on New Year’s and haven’t been back since. We suspect the waitress didn’t bother to list our order as gluten-free. A chain is only as strong as its weakest link!

  • Chris

    Its not just the gluten free bread. Its the training their employees are going through, and the fact that Subway is working closely with the gluten free community to get this right. They are taking months, going from region to region to test the market. It’ll take a while for all of us to trust a restaurant full of gluten. but I am very thankful for Subway that they are not just jumping into this market.

  • KJ

    Also I think this issue could have a very strong bearing on the test results. In this case, the amount of cross contamination would vary significantly based on when it was made. If a pizza was made with fresh ingredients and cutters (perhaps right after the store opened?) then it would show much less contamination than a pizza made with the last few scraps of ingredients from a container and a cutter that had been in use all day.

    In any case I urge fellow celiacs to wait until they know exactly how THEIR Domino’s is preparing the pizza before rushing out and trying it. I NEVER had overt symptoms even when I was eating loads of gluten (only vitamin deficiencies), yet my doctor saw damage during my endoscopy and intestinal biopsies showed significant damage.

  • Elizabeth

    I have CD and have eaten at PF Changs, I asked a lot of questions & it turns out that they do have a dedicated GF space in the kitchen and serve ALL GF meals on dinnerware that has there logo on it. ( Only GF meals get those plates) The one here in Burbank was very careful about cross contamination. By the way, the GF carmel & mango chicken was incredible,cant wait to go back.

  • Eleanor Creasey

    [quote name="Max"]Egk,

    Yes, we may test other establishments in the future. Do you guys have any suggestions?[/quote]

    Yes, Centreville, MD and Stevensville, MD

  • Eliz

    I heard Chuck E Cheese had a GF pizza made off site and delivered wrapped and baked separately. Could you check into that? My kids would love to go there, but we usually avoid it because I can’t eat with them…

    Thanks for the Domino’s info, and for the blog. It’s interesting to read about what is going on from the consumer side of things.

  • Keri

    I wrote on Subway’s facebook page asking about GF rolls and was told that they are being tested in Texas stores. I guess if they go over well with the public, they will expand to the rest of the country. I hope so!!

  • Cheri

    Me too! I didn’t fault Domino’s; it was NFCA that troubled me. A seal of “approval” was misleading for some. A national association can’t be too careful. Some celiacs can’t eat out at ANY restaurant because of cross contamination. One’s auto-immune response may not overlook 7 ppm!

  • Max

    Egk,

    Yes, we may test other establishments in the future. Do you guys have any suggestions?

  • Max from CeliAct

    Also, the new frozen pizzas made by Against the Grain are DELICIOUS!! Those are my favorite frozen gf pizzas if you want to go that route.

  • Max from CeliAct

    Mary,

    Subway is slowly rolling out their gluten-free sandwiches. I think it is limited to Subway stores in the state of Oregon now, but if things work out, they will expand it to more stores.

  • Tamra

    It does damage to your small intestines. It’s an autoimmune disease, so anytime you ingest gluten it blunts the villi, which then cause you to not absorb nutrients and most importantly, can cause intestinal cancers. You really need to avoid gluten at all costs.

    I still go out to eat and travel, but I ask a lot of questions.

  • Egk

    Increased risk for cancer is the biggie, unfortunately.

  • Jen

    You may not be having stomach symptoms like most with Celiac, but you may be having more subtle symptoms like absorption problems with iron, b12, and other vitamins. Vitamin deficiencies and their symptoms can affect you in serious ways too.

  • Sarah

    If you don’t avoid gluten I have been advised that you WILL increase your chances of getting stomach cancer and a bunch of other ugly medical conditions. Also, your symptoms WILL change over time and the more gluten you eat the longer it will take for your gut to heal. Some people’s symptoms never go away because of the age they start going gf. I didn’t get symptoms until I started going to college, so I was just diagnosed nearly 2 years ago and I unfortunately now have a rather sensitive stomach as a result. It is NOT hard to avoid gluten. It’s just about learning how to avoid it. Believe it or not, there are gluten free foods out there that taste just as good as foods with gluten. The best way to get comfortable with the diet is to try EVERYTHING GF and find what you like best. Don’t abuse the fact that you have no symptoms. You should know that you’re VERY lucky that you don’t feel anything from gluten exposure.

  • Eleanor Creasey

    [quote name="Egk"]I didnt attack dominos. I objected to the nfca amber designation which makes the GF label even more confusing.

    Do you plan to test anything else?[/quote]

    I agree I was concerned about NFCA endorsing it as a gluten-free pizza. The way it was presented is what caused so much confusion.

  • Kotsu

    Try a Garlic Jim’s GF pizza from the freezer case, if you can locate one. It’s the only good GF pizza I’ve found.

  • Nicole

    Chuck E. Cheese’s will start offering gluten free pizza and cupcakes and they are taking measures to avoid cross contamination. This makes me so happy for every child with celiac disease and for all the parents who have not been able to eat there before. You can visit their site and see the video about this! Please visit my gluten free website. http://www.rollingoutdough.com

  • Lalosr

    I understand your position. Unfortunately, the world will never be GF. The best will can ever hope for is honest labeling and effective enforcement. I am sure your daughter will eventually venture out and try some of these places when she grows up and realizes that she cannot eat at home 100% of the time. The challenges of college life and travel still await her. She will do just fine, but will have unavoidable ups and downs….

  • Lalosr

    Your statement defies credulity!!!!!!!!!!
    If you were indeed tested for celiac dz by an MD, then you must have had a good reason. If you tested + on the blood tests and had a + duodenal bx, then you DO have CD. The fact that you have “no symptoms” is not necessarily a blessing, as your ignorant attitude reflects. The damage you can do is interminable. There is not enough room to explain here. Your life will be shortened and you will suffer a myriad of very bad consequences, osteoporosis, malnutrition, vitamin/mineral deficiencies, high risk of several malignancies, etc., etc., etc.

  • Lalosr

    Your patience with the same old ??? is admirable!!

    *** The Domino’s locations did NOT know beforehand about the test ***

  • Eleanor Creasey

    [quote name="Jennifer"]How did you obtain the pizzas? Were the restaurants aware these pizzas would be tested?

    I’d be curious to see results in a few months when the hoopla has died down, and routines are established. Will there still be attention to gluten free detail? Will their gf equipment become contaminated? How do these kitchens compare to the layouts of smaller or more rural locations?

    I know that’s beyond your scope but I’m curious. I’m a chemist and I can’t thank you enough for conducting this testing. I lost my career die to undiagnosed celiac and I’m glad to hear when good tests are conducted. This was so appreciated!

    I would LOVE if you continued testing foods as a way to raise awareness and educate.[/quote]

    The same questions ran through my mind. I am sure they were super careful if they knew the pizzas were going to be tested.

    Yes, keep testing!! It keeps them honest.

  • V

    I don’t know if you have other allergy issues, but I can’t have soy or wheat so I ask for no seasoning on the burger (lettuce wrap) and fries. And voila, no problem. Make sure your location has a dedicated g/f fryer for the fries–it makes all the difference! :)

  • Max from CeliAct

    Jennifer,

    The Domino’s restaurants did not know about the test. We ordered the pizzas as any customer would have. We have not been in touch with anyone at Domino’s about these tests.

  • Max from CeliAct

    Dawn and Tom,

    The Domino’s locations did not know our intent when we ordered the pizzas. We know that they may have prepared them differently if they knew the purpose of the order.

  • Tammie T

    Now that Subway offers GF subs (and the bread is quite tasty-make sure to have it toasted twice..) I am able to eat something on the run and feel fairly comfortable about it. IT REALLY depends on how busy the location is, though. If they are willing to get all your condiments and veggies from the cooler and not off the line, then I have not experienced ANY problems and I am SEVERELY sensitive to gluten. The most convenient subway for me is a busy location.(Vancouver, Washington) The manager is super nice and even makes my sandwiches herself, but won’t prepare it from the cooler. I get sick every time I eat (twice) at that location. I’ll never go back.

  • Lalosr

    You are living in dreamland. I doubt you or most celiacs would react to 7ppm. There are no reliable/practical tests at this time that can measure this very low level of gluten. Remember the European definition of GF, and soon to be the US definition of GF is/will be

  • Lalosr

    [quote name="Jennifer"]How did you obtain the pizzas? Were the restaurants aware these pizzas would be tested?

    I’d be curious to see results in a few months when the hoopla has died down, and routines are established. Will there still be attention to gluten free detail? Will their gf equipment become contaminated? How do these kitchens compare to the layouts of smaller or more rural locations?

    I know that’s beyond your scope but I’m curious. I’m a chemist and I can’t thank you enough for conducting this testing. I lost my career die to undiagnosed celiac and I’m glad to hear when good tests are conducted. This was so appreciated!

    I would LOVE if you continued testing foods as a way to raise awareness and educate.[/quote]

    Read the article again!! Domino’s was NOT informed of the test beforehand.

  • Lalosr

    READ the article!!! The Results of the Domino’s Gluten-Free Lab Test

    *** The Domino’s locations did NOT know beforehand about the test ***

  • Lalosr

    CD is NOT an IgE-mediated condition. If you truly have anaphylactic rxn to gluten, you are out of luck. No place has 0 ppm.

  • Annon E. Mouse

    All I have to say is: supply and demand.

  • Tom

    [quote name="Dawn"]I have a question. Did the Domino’s locations know in advance that you would be testing the pizza or were they ordered blindly and tested?[/quote]

    Dawn,

    That is the MOST important question to ask. If the restaurants knew in advance that the pizzas were going to be tested, then the tests are totally worthless and a waste of time.

    Can anyone give u an answer?

  • Max from CeliAct

    Niki,

    The Domino’s locations we tested did not know in advance.

  • Debra

    So if there are no symptoms, what kind of damage do you have? I was diagnosed as a celiac, and I have pretty much given up on staying gluten free. It is impossible anyway, if you eat anything. I haven’t had any symptoms, but I’m interested in knowing what kind of damage it is supposedly causing.

  • Julie

    Why do you say “especially those in small towns”? Just curious as to how those kitchens put you more at risk than other locations. (I’m not trying to sound snarky, I really am just curious. No bad intentions at all, I promise!)

  • Julie

    Niki–Why do you say “especially those in small towns”? Just curious as to how those kitchens put you more at risk than other locations. (I’m not trying to sound snarky, I really am just curious. No bad intentions at all, I promise!)

  • Max from CeliAct

    Andrea,

    Our detection method cannot test anything below 3 ppm. Therefore, if there were 2.9 ppm, 1 ppm or 0 ppm, the result would still come back as less than 3 ppm.

  • Gayle Noga

    I had a birthday dinner at Changs and wanted to take home some lettuce wraps, boy was I in for a surprise when my GF wraps were substituted for the vegetarian wraps, I was sick for months and didn’t go back for almost three years. The waitress put in the wrong code for my wraps. Now I always double check before leaving the store.

  • Tammie T

    @ Maddieaddie & Gayle N: PF Chang’s gluten free dishes come on plates that are a different shape than their regular plates. (One is round, one is square-it’s been a while, so I don’t remember which.) The point is, if you ask in advance, you will know when the plate is presented if it is Gluten Free or not. I do like that about PF Chang’s.

  • Lalosr

    READ!!!!!!
    *** The Domino’s locations did NOT know beforehand about the test ***

  • Egk

    I think Red Robin puts the seasoning in the burger as well. Red Robin uses lots of MSG.

  • Kelly

    Subway with gluten free buns sounds crazy to me. I won’t even order a salad there. They cut the regular buns on the counter and brush the crumbs into everything you might put on anything, meat, cheese, veggies, etc. I wouldn’t trust it even with the best gluten free bread.

  • Julie

    [quote name="Julie"]Why do you say “especially those in small towns”? Just curious as to how those kitchens put you more at risk than other locations. (I’m not trying to sound snarky, I really am just curious. No bad intentions at all, I promise!)[/quote]
    This was for Nikki, not Debra. Clearly I’m incompetent at posting on this site! :-)

  • Max from CeliAct

    I was eating their omelets for years before I found out about that! I agree that they should disclose those kinds of things…

    Similar to how Cheesecake Factory dusts their corn tortillas with wheat flour. If people see “Corn Tortillas” on a menu, a lot of people following a gluten-free menu will assume it’s safe.

  • Elizabeth

    At the Utica, NY, IHOPS I asked whether their bacon and sausage were gluten-free. The waitress brought the box to me to read the ingredients.

  • Max from CeliAct

    Donna,

    All of the pizzas were cheese pizzas

  • Lalosr

    It does absolutely NOTHING for patients w CD. Please do not listen to any product that claims otherwise.

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