There should be a standarized label for gluten-free products

In the past few days I have written about two pizza chains that recently announced they are offering gluten-free pizza options, albeit with two different delivery methods.

The two chains are Domino’s Pizza and Chuck E. Cheese.  To sum up, Domino’s pizza crusts are made 100% gluten free with rice flour and potato starch.  However, their crusts are made in the same place, and with the same utensils as their normal crusts.  The risks of cross-contamination are high and Domino’s has been completely upfront about this.  Chuck E. Cheese Pizzas are made by a third-party company is a 100% gluten-free environment.  They arrive to the restaurants in a sealed container, cooked in this sealed container, and even come with a special gluten-free pizza cutter.  There is no way gluten is getting in this pizza!

This has made big news because Celiac awareness groups are upset that Domino’s is selling something as 100% gluten free, when it really isn’t, even though they have a disclaimer.

The North American Society for the Study of Celiac Disease (NASSCD) made a statement that Domino’s is making a “complete exploitation” of the term gluten-free.  The president of NASSCD, Dr. Stefano Guandalini, “ Marketing a product to be ‘sort-of’ gluten free or ‘low’ gluten is completely useless for those who require the strict diet.”

The organization (NASSCD), and their president, is calling for the standardization of gluten-free labeling by the FDA.  I couldn’t agree more.  With so many people being diagnosed with Celiac disease every year (1 in 133 people in the United States are thought to be Celiacs), it is just not responsible to claim something to be 100% gluten-free when it is not.  There are too many people who don’t know enough about living gluten-free, especially when they first begin.  They trust companies to label their products correctly.  They may not yet know about cross-contamination.  Hopefully, the FDA will see all this news coverage regarding what products truly are gluten-free and what products are only jumping on the bandwagon.

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