Is Dominos crust not gluten free anymore?

Domino’s pizza made headlines in 2015 when they introduced a gluten-free pizza crust to their menu. For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, having a convenient and tasty gluten-free pizza option from a major pizza chain was a game changer. Now, years later, some Domino’s customers are questioning if the pizza chain’s once gluten-free crust still lives up to its claims.

What is Domino’s Gluten-Free Crust?

Back in 2015, Domino’s became the first national pizza chain to offer a gluten-free crust. They advertised it as a pizza that customers with gluten restrictions could enjoy right alongside their family and friends. Domino’s gluten-free crust is made without gluten-containing grains like wheat, barley, and rye. Instead, it’s made with a blend of rice flour, tapioca starch, egg white, and enzymes. This allows those with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity to eat Domino’s pizza without getting sick from gluten exposure.

When Domino’s first launched their gluten-free crust pizza, it was certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG), an organization that tests and certifies gluten-free products. For a pizza crust to be certified gluten-free by GIG, it must contain less than 10 parts per million of gluten. This strict certification gave consumers confidence that Domino’s gluten-free crust was truly safe for those with medical gluten restrictions.

Does Domino’s Still Offer a Gluten-Free Crust?

The short answer – yes, Domino’s still offers their gluten-free crust as an option for pizzas. On their website nutrition information page and in their stores, the gluten-free crust is still listed and can be selected when ordering a pizza.

However, some observant customers have noticed differences in recent years that make them question if the recipe has changed. In 2021, Domino’s removed the GIG certification from their gluten-free crust. This means that while Domino’s still claims the crust is gluten-free, it’s no longer being regularly tested and certified by an independent gluten-free watchdog organization.

Additionally, the language Domino’s uses around their gluten-free crust has changed. On their website, they now state that the crust is “prepared to deliver on our gluten-free promise.” This phrasing suggests that measures are taken to avoid gluten, but leaves room for the possibility of cross-contamination. Domino’s also shifted from marketing it as a crust for those medically required to avoid gluten, to advertising it as an option for anyone avoiding or limiting gluten in their diets.

Has Domino’s Changed Their Gluten-Free Crust Recipe?

Domino’s has not admitted to changing their gluten-free crust recipe over the years. However, they have made changes to their ingredients and preparation methods that point to the recipe being altered or production practices being updated.

Here are some of the changes eagle-eyed gluten-free consumers have noticed in recent years:

  • The texture is crunchier and doughier than the original thin, crispy gluten-free crust
  • Ingredients like cornstarch and maltodextrin have been added
  • The nutrition information has changed, indicating different ingredients
  • The crust now contains yeast, while originally it was advertised as yeast-free
  • The crust is cooked alongside wheat-crust pizzas rather than in separate gluten-free ovens

While none of these changes automatically mean the crust is no longer gluten-free, they do suggest that Domino’s has quietly changed their recipe and procedures. The addition of new ingredients and the removal of the GIG certification are especially concerning signs to gluten-free consumers.

Has Domino’s Gluten-Free Crust Been Contaminated?

In addition to changes pointing to a reformulated recipe, many longtime gluten-free Domino’s customers insist that the crust has been contaminated with gluten. Anecdotal reports of symptoms after eating the crust have sparked accusations that Domino’s quality control measures are lacking.

Those adhering to a strict gluten-free diet for medical reasons say that after eating Domino’s gluten-free crust they have experienced gastrointestinal symptoms typical of gluten exposure. Bloating, diarrhea, nausea, and fatigue are commonly reported in response.

This has led many to believe that Domino’s has a problem with cross-contamination. Possible ways gluten could contaminate the gluten-free pizzas include:

  • Dough sticking to equipment previously used for gluten-containing dough
  • Flour in the air settling onto the surface of gluten-free pizzas
  • Employees adding gluten-containing ingredients or toppings to gluten-free pizzas by mistake
  • Cutting gluten-free pizzas with the same equipment as wheat-crust pizzas

With shared equipment and ingredients in a busy pizza kitchen, cross-contamination is not unlikely. This means that even if the recipe is gluten-free, exposure to trace amounts of gluten may still be occurring.

What is Domino’s Official Stance?

Domino’s insists that nothing has changed and their gluten-free crust is still safe for celiacs and those avoiding gluten. According to their website FAQs:

“Domino’s Pizza made headlines by rolling out a gluten-free crust – the first of its kind for a major pizza chain! Domino’s gluten-free crust is prepared in a common kitchen alongside wheat-based crusts using GIG’s certified procedures. Our team members are trained to use caution to avoid any cross-contact with gluten-containing foods when preparing and serving Domino’s gluten-free crust pizzas.”

They also state that the crust contains “less than 20ppm of gluten.” Since foods considered gluten-free must have less than 20ppm, Domino’s asserts that their crust falls into the FDA’s gluten-free classification.

When asked about the removal of GIG certification, Domino’s says they “proudly stand behind the gluten-free crust.” They claim nothing has changed other than ending their partnership with the certifying organization.

In summary, Domino’s insists their recipe, procedures, and training protocols ensure customers are still receiving a legitimately gluten-free crust.

Is Domino’s Gluten-Free Crust Safe for Celiacs?

This is the million dollar question. Unfortunately, there is no consensus within the celiac and gluten-free communities regarding the safety of Domino’s gluten-free crust.

Here are some of the conflicting opinions on whether those with celiac disease should eat Domino’s gluten-free pizza:

Yes: Those who believe it’s safe point to the lack of any admittance from Domino’s that the crust recipe has changed. They argue that customer complaints are simply due to heightened sensitivity and awareness around trace gluten amounts, not an indication that the crusts contain dangerous levels of contamination.

No: Those arguing that Domino’s crust is no longer safe reference the removal of 3rd party certification, recipe and prep changes, and numerous customer complaints of illness after eating it. They point out that independent testing would be required to prove the crust is below 20ppm of gluten and safe for celiacs.

Unclear: Some cautious experts say there is not enough concrete evidence to know if the crust is truly safe or not. They recommend that anyone with celiac disease or severe gluten intolerance use their best personal judgement on whether to trust assurances from Domino’s.

With conflicting reports from customers and unclear communication from the company, the safety of Domino’s gluten-free crust remains embroiled in controversy. Those wishing to err on the side of extreme caution may want to avoid it.

Should You Eat Domino’s Gluten-Free Crust?

Whether you have celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, or are simply gluten-free by choice, deciding if Domino’s pizza is a safe option for you comes down to an analysis of your individual risks and needs:

If you have celiac disease:

Consuming trace amounts of gluten can damage your small intestine and cause debilitating symptoms. Many experts advise strictly avoiding Domino’s gluten-free crust since ingredients and prep procedures may put you at risk of at least trace gluten exposure.

If you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity:

You may be able to tolerate small, sporadic traces of gluten without getting sick. Some with gluten sensitivity continue eating Domino’s gluten-free pizza with no issues. Pay attention to how your body responds.

If you’re gluten-free by choice:

Eliminating gluten comes down to your personal dietary preferences. If you’re just choosing to avoid gluten and can tolerate occasional minimal exposure, Domino’s gluten-free crust may be an option you’re comfortable with.

Every person with gluten restrictions needs to assess their own level of risk and make the personal decision whether Domino’s meets their gluten safety needs or not. Being informed on the controversies around cross-contamination and recipe changes can help you make an educated choice.

Safer Gluten-Free Pizza Options

If you decide the uncertainties surrounding Domino’s gluten-free crust are too nerve-wracking, safer gluten-free pizza options do exist:

  • Local pizzerias offering dedicated gluten-free menus and protocols
  • Restaurant chains with stricter gluten-free training like Blaze Pizza or Pizza Hut’s Gluten-Free menu
  • Pre-packaged gluten-free frozen pizzas verified by GFCO or NSF certification
  • Homemade pizzas with certified gluten-free crusts and toppings

While less convenient than takeout, these options provide more confidence for those wanting a guarantee their crust is completely gluten-free with little risk of cross-contact.

Should You Complain to Domino’s?

If you experience symptoms after eating Domino’s gluten-free crust, consider reporting it. The more Domino’s hears from customers getting sick, the more pressure they may feel to renew accountability and meet higher safety standards.

You can call your local Domino’s store or reach out to Domino’s Customer Care at:

Phone: (734) 930-3030
Email: [email protected]

Describing your reaction in detail and when it happened may help Domino’s piece together useful information on where things are going wrong. Over time, customer complaints could prompt positive changes.

Is This the End of Domino’s Gluten-Free Pizza?

It’s unlikely that Domino’s will discontinue their gluten-free crust altogether. While problems clearly exist, offering a gluten-free option brings the company more customers and profits.

It’s more probable that customer pressure and declining sales due to mistrust could force Domino’s to make recipe and procedural changes to restore confidence in the safety of their gluten-free pizzas.

Hopefully the controversy encourages proactive improvements industry-wide in protocols for preparing safe gluten-free restaurant foods. More awareness and accountability is needed to protect the health of gluten-sensitive customers.

The Bottom Line

Domino’s gluten-free crust is embroiled in controversy over whether the recipe has changed, if the pizzas are contaminated with gluten, and if the crust is truly safe for those with celiac disease and gluten intolerances.

Conflicting information exists on all sides of the debate. Domino’s insists their gluten-free pizza is safe, yet many customers report reacting negatively and no longer trust the company’s products or procedures.

Those with celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity may want to exercise extreme caution and avoid Domino’s gluten-free crust until more concrete evidence of its safety emerges. The decision ultimately depends on each person’s tolerance for risk and needs around gluten exposure.

Increased customer complaints and decreasing sales may push Domino’s to renew quality control efforts and transparency around their gluten-free pizzas. Time will tell if the pizza giant decides to restore public trust by making demonstrable improvements to their ingredients and kitchen protocols.

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