On behalf of celiacs everywhere, would you sign this?

Celiac Disease, Health May 15, 2012

EDIT: Thanks to a comment by Real Food RD, I found out that Domino’s has a new pop-up message that you are forced to click through when ordering the gluten-free crust that states the following: “We’d Like You To Know…Domino’s pizza made with a Gluten Free Crust is prepared in a common kitchen with the risk of gluten exposure. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness supports the availability of Domino’s Gluten Free Crust, but CANNOT recommend the pizza for customers with celiac disease. Customers with gluten sensitivities should exercise judgment in consuming this pizza. For more info, click here.”

But they still have the amber designation…read on…

Earlier this month, Domino’s Pizza rolled out their new gluten-free pizza crust.  Here’s the rub, it’s not really gluten-free.  Oh the ingredients in the dough are gluten-free, but have you ever been in a fast-food pizza place?  There is flour dust everywhere.  Domino’s is not using separate surfaces, separate ovens, or even separate cutting utensils.  So there is absolutely no way this pizza is safe for anyone with celiac disease.  Not. A. Chance.

Here is a screenshot of what it looks like when you order a gluten-free crust at Domino's

Here is a screenshot of the teeny tiny print that you have to scroll down to find with a warning that Domino's gluten-free crust is not recommended for those with celiac disease.

While this in itself is frustrating, even more baffling, is the NFCA’s involvement.  The National Foundation of Celiac Awareness rolled out it’s new credentialing system for restaurants at the same time as Domino’s gluten-free pizza announcement.  Basically, the system gives out one of two seals.

A green seal goes to a restaurant that can verify strict cross-contamination controls, comprehensive staff training, and ingredient verification.  Green means go.  Eat gluten-free food safely.  After last week’s gluten-free foodie tour, I am confident that Fleming’s restaurants would be awarded the green seal.

In my eyes, this should be the only seal available.  Every other restaurant that is offering a gluten-free menu in an unsafe way, should strive to get to a place where they can be awarded a green seal, right?

Unfortunately, the NFCA decided to also award an amber seal.  It looks exactly like the green seal except that it’s amber and is missing a checkmark.   It says gluten-free, it’s an official looking seal, it would make you feel safe right?  But these kitchens aren’t necessarily safe!  Domino’s got this seal, and there is cross-contamination going on everywhere!

What’s the deal NFCA?  This seal is putting celiacs at risk, giving us a false sense of security, and not giving restaurants a reason to work on safer practices.

The biggest obstacle we face in safely eating at a restaurant is convincing the server/manager/chef that when we say gluten-free we mean gluten-free.  Our need for gluten-free food without cross-contamination is serious.  The way I see it, the amber seal takes all of that seriousness away, and makes it more difficult for us to eat at a restaurant without getting sick.

But hey, that’s just my opinion.

If you happen to agree, would you do me (and my celiac friends) a favor?  Take a few seconds to sign a petition urging the NFCA to drop the amber designation by clicking on the image below.

Thank you for taking the time to keep us safe and to learn more about celiac disease.  

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  • Real Food RD May 15, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    Just wanted to let you know that I checked out Domino’s website yesterday and a pop up screen appeared saying something about how the gluten free crust could be cross-contaminated and wasn’t safe for celiacs. You had to click OK before adding toppings or proceeding with the order. I didn’t actually get a pizza though 🙂

    • inspiredrd May 15, 2012 at 5:32 pm

      Thanks for pointing this out, I took the screenshots last week. I have updated the post including this new information.

  • Gluten Dude May 15, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I’ve heard when you call to place an order, as most people will, they do not give you the warning. At least that’s what some people have said who have placed an order at certain locations. I have not.

    • inspiredrd May 16, 2012 at 6:57 am

      Good point. I totally forgot about ordering on the phone.

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