Cafe Society

The gluten-free crust at Domino's Pizza is actually gluten-free!

Many things in the food industry are not at all what they appear to be.

Things like healthy green salads covered in cheese, bacon bits, croutons and ranch dressing; the servers at T.G.I. Friday's who aren't always thrilled beyond measure to see your asses plopped in their sections; and those "Grapple" apples that are actually sprayed with a grape-scented perfume --not cross-bred in an awesome foodie sci-fi experiment.

So the fact that Domino's was actually telling the truth when it introduced gluten-free pizza crusts is something worth celebrating.

CeliAct, manufacturers of nutritional supplements for people with celiac disease, used its state-of-the-art lab to test the allegedly gluten-free pizza crusts from Domino's to determine if they contained detectable amounts of gluten. The company tried pizzas in three major cities -- Boston, New Orleans and Washington, D.C.-- and found that two of the pizzas had no detectable gluten, while the third had trace levels considered safe "by almost all standards."

That trace level could be traced to the fact that Domino's makes all of its pizzas in the same kitchen.

"This does not mean that we endorse Domino's gluten-free pizza for people with celiac," said Zach Rachins, a co-founder of CeliAct, in a statement accompanying the test results. "Instead, we just wanted to know if the gluten-free community should be any more critical of Domino's than it is of other national chains with gluten-free offerings like Outback Steakhouse, P.F. Chang's, or Legal Seafood. Other restaurants that have gluten-free menus don't have dedicated gluten-free kitchens. We thought the backlash might have just been in response to how Domino's communicated their warning to celiacs."

Domino's product labeling and website are clear as day about how their kitchens are processing regular pizzas, so the onus is on consumers to make sure that what they are eating is safe for them.

The Gluten-Free Certification Organization utilizes a "10 parts per million" model to determine if a product is gluten-free, although some celiac organizations are pushing the FDA to use a 20 ppm threshold for gluten-free-product labeling. In the meantime, it's a good idea for gluten-resistant customers to trust their guts -- literally.