For those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity, dining out can be challenging. With cross-contamination risks and hidden gluten ingredients, sticking to a gluten-free diet requires diligence and careful questioning. Domino’s pizza delivers hot, fast pizza, but are its wings a safe option for gluten-free diners? Let’s take a closer look at what wings you can order gluten-free from Domino’s.
What is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is eaten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. For those with celiac disease, eating gluten triggers an attack on the small intestine by the immune system, damaging the villi that line the small intestine and aid in nutrient absorption. This damage over time can lead to symptoms like diarrhea, bloating, abdominal pain, nutritional deficiencies, and an increased risk for other autoimmune disorders. Celiac disease affects approximately 1% of the population worldwide.
What is Gluten Sensitivity?
Gluten sensitivity or intolerance is a condition where gluten triggers unpleasant digestive symptoms, but does not cause the autoimmune response and small intestine damage seen in celiac disease. People with gluten sensitivity frequently experience bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue, headaches, and skin rashes when they eat gluten. Gluten sensitivity is estimated to affect up to 6% of the population.
The Importance of a Gluten-Free Diet
A strict, 100% gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease. For those with celiac disease, eating gluten every day, even small amounts, can cause ongoing damage to the small intestine. This damage raises the risk for anemia, osteoporosis, infertility, neurological conditions, and certain cancers.
For people with gluten sensitivity, avoiding gluten helps resolve gastrointestinal symptoms and improve quality of life. While the consequences of gluten ingestion may not be as dire for those with gluten sensitivity compared to celiac disease, feeling ill after eating gluten still significantly impacts health and lifestyle.
That’s why many people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity stick to a strict gluten-free diet, avoiding any products or cross-contamination risks that could trigger symptoms and health issues.
What Foods Contain Gluten?
Gluten is predominantly found in wheat, barley, and rye. Many common grain-based products contain these sources of gluten, including:
- Baked goods like cakes, cookies, muffins, and doughnuts
- Foods containing wheat flour, like breaded foods
Ingredients like malt vinegar, soy sauce, and preservatives can also contain forms of gluten. It’s important to check labels and call manufacturers to verify if a product is gluten-free when avoiding gluten.
Risk of Gluten Exposure When Dining Out
When eating at restaurants, gluten exposure risks come from:
- Ingredients – Menu items prepared with wheat, barley, rye, or gluten-containing additives
- Cross-contamination – Gluten transferred from gluten-containing foods or surfaces to gluten-free dishes
- Miscommunication – Server or kitchen misunderstanding a gluten-free order
Even small amounts of gluten can cause issues for those with celiac disease or sensitivity. Using separate work areas and cookware for gluten-free food preparation can reduce risks. However, restaurants often prepare gluten-free and gluten-containing items in shared spaces, increasing the chance for cross-contamination.
Some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity choose to avoid dining out altogether to eliminate the risk of gluten exposure. For those who do dine out, selecting naturally gluten-free menu items and asking detailed questions about ingredient sourcing and preparation provides the greatest level of safety.
Are Domino’s Wings Gluten-Free?
Domino’s offers two types of chicken wings – Boneless Wings and Classic Wings. Both are listed as gluten-free menu options on the Domino’s website. However, those with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity may still want to take precautions when ordering.
According to Domino’s Frequently Asked Questions, their boneless wings are made without gluten-containing ingredients. The boneless wings consist of chicken breast chunks flavored with sauce or seasonings and do not contain breading.
Domino’s reports that their classic wings are free of gluten ingredients as well. They state that the classic wings are simply seasoned and baked or fried. No breading or wheat flour is used in preparation.
However, Domino’s also notes that while steps are taken to avoid cross-contamination, they don’t have gluten-free specific preparation areas in their kitchens. So shared cookware and surfaces could result in gluten exposure from other ingredients.
Individual sensitivity plays a role here too. Some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity react to even very small amounts of gluten. These individuals may want to avoid Domino’s wings entirely due to the cross-contamination risk. People who are less sensitive may feel comfortable ordering the boneless or classic wings as advertised.
Cross-reactivity is also a consideration. People with gluten sensitivity can also react to proteins found in corn. Domino’s frequently uses cornmeal in their kitchens. So for those who react to corn, that’s an additional reason to exert caution or avoid the wings.
Ingredients to Review
When considering Domino’s wings, it’s a good idea to ask specifically about these ingredients and preparation factors:
Domino’s wings can be ordered with a variety of dipping sauces. Verify that the sauce ingredients are gluten-free. Some flavor varieties, like BBQ sauce, may contain wheat, soy sauce, malt vinegar or other problematic ingredients. Request to see the ingredient list for the desired sauce. Also inquire about how the sauces are dispensed to ensure no cross-contamination from other sauce options sharing the same container.
For the classic wings, ask if they share a fryer with breaded, gluten-containing menu items like Domino’s Cheesy Bread. Shared oil may pick up traces of gluten from those items. Wings fried in clean, dedicated gluten-free oil are a safer bet.
Domino’s sometimes adds seasonings to the wings to provide different flavor varieties. Check that no wheat, soy sauce, malt or other questionable ingredients are used in the seasoning mixes applied to the wings. Seasonings without ingredient lists, like proprietary spice blends, are more risky.
Request that the wings are prepared on newly cleaned surfaces using fresh gloves to reduce cross-contact risks. Also verify that the wings haven’t been placed on a shared pizza tray or prep surface with residual gluten on it from other menu items.
For classic wings, make sure a freshly cleaned, unused frying basket is used. A basket also used for breaded, gluten-containing foods could transfer gluten onto the wings during frying.
Key Questions to Ask
When calling to order Domino’s wings for delivery or takeout, consider asking the following questions to ascertain the risk level:
– Are the wings fried or prepared alongside any breaded or gluten-containing menu items?
– What oil is used for frying the wings? Is it shared with fryers that cook breaded foods?
– Can you confirm that the sauce I’m ordering is gluten-free? May I see the ingredient list?
– Are any seasonings or spice mixes applied to the wings? Do these contain any gluten ingredients?
– Will the wings be prepared on a freshly sanitized surface with fresh gloves and tools?
– For classic wings, can you ensure an unused, clean frying basket is used only for my order?
– What procedures do you have in place to reduce cross-contamination for gluten-free orders?
The more information you can obtain from the store about their preparation practices, the better you can assess if the wings will be safe for your dietary needs. Don’t hesitate to ask questions or request special accommodations to avoid gluten exposure.
Gluten-Free Dipping Sauces
Domino’s has two dipping sauces that are reliably gluten-free choices:
Ranch is dairy-based, containing ingredients like buttermilk, soybean oil, garlic, onion, vinegar, parsley, dill, salt and pepper. Domino’s ranch dressing has been confirmed gluten-free by the company. Just keep in mind that cross-contamination can occur if it shares a container with other non gluten-free sauces. Request ranch in a sealed packet or tub that hasn’t been contaminated by other sauces to be safe.
Frank’s Redhot Sauce
This hot sauce contains aged cayenne red peppers, distilled vinegar, water, salt and garlic powder. The vinegar used in Frank’s Redhot Sauce is reported to be gluten-free. However, as Frank’s is made in a facility that processes wheat, risk of cross-contamination exists. Verify your location dispenses it from a sealed packet or bottled specifically for gluten-free requests.
If uncertainty remains about the gluten-free status of Domino’s wings, there are some menu substitutions you can request:
Build your own salad with grilled chicken, gluten-free dressing, and fresh veggies. Just verify that all ingredients and prep surfaces to be used are gluten-free.
Design a gluten-free pizza on a Domino’s gluten-free crust. Load it up with meat, veggies, and gluten-free cheese and sauce.
Opt for a grilled or baked chicken sandwich, wrap or pasta dish modified to be gluten-free. Just be sure to check all marinades and sauce ingredients while avoiding cross-contaminated surfaces and utensils.
Is Eating Domino’s Wings Worth the Risk?
Here are some factors to weigh when deciding if you want to eat Domino’s wings with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity:
How sensitive are you to gluten cross-contact?
If trace gluten exposure makes you ill, it’s best to avoid Domino’s wings given the cross-contamination cautions. People who react severely should be extra vigilant.
How comfortable do you feel inquiring about ingredients and process?
You’ll need to ask questions to fully understand if the wings are a reasonably safe choice. If phone calls asking for specifics give you anxiety, the uncertainty may not be worth it.
Do you trust the staff to follow gluten-free protocols?
No matter what protocols Domino’s has, human error can always allow mistakes to happen. If you don’t trust the staff to meticulously avoid cross-contamination, it’s smarter to skip the wings.
Does your local Domino’s inspire confidence with their gluten-free handling?
Some franchise locations may provide better gluten-free training and separate prep surfaces. Get to know your local restaurant’s procedures and see if they instill comfort with their diligence.
Do you have back-up food options if reacting?
Scope out gluten-free backup meals you can eat if reacting to Domino’s wings. Having a plan takes stress off if you do get “glutened.”
Can you comfortably manage symptoms if reacting?
If you become ill after eating the wings, is it feasible to take time to recover? People with flexibility who can treat and rest through reactions may feel more open to trying the wings.
At the end of the day, Domino’s wings carry some degree of gluten risk due to shared kitchen environments. With proactive questioning and care taken by the restaurant, the risk may be low enough for some people with gluten sensitivities to indulge cautiously. However, there is no guarantee that cross-contamination won’t occur. Anyone strictly adhering to a gluten-free diet may prefer to avoid Domino’s wings as a more cautious measure. Being well-informed and weighing your individual risks and comfort level is key in deciding if ordering the wings is a wise choice.
Other Gluten-Free Options at Domino’s
If the potential for gluten exposure from Domino’s wings seems too uncertain, don’t despair. You have plenty of other gluten-free choices for a tasty Domino’s meal:
Gluten-Free Crust Pizzas
Build a delicious pizza using Domino’s gluten-free pizza crust. Load it up with veggies, meat, and gluten-free cheese and sauce. Just request the pizza be prepared on clean tools to avoid cross-contact.
Enjoy a fresh salad with grilled chicken breast, gluten-free dressing, and lots of veggie fixings. Specify that gluten-free practices are followed for prep and avoid croutons.
Order a sandwich on Domino’s gluten-free crust. Get it open-faced style to avoid cross-contact with the work surfaces. Fill it with meat, cheese, veggies, and gluten-free condiments.
Domino’s offers gluten-free desserts like chocolate lava cakes served in sealed packaging. Make sure to request any necessary ingredient swaps to ensure gluten-free preparation.
The Best Approach
The optimal way to enjoy Domino’s with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity is to:
– Research menu options and ingredients in advance
– Determine the safest choices based on your sensitivity
– Call ahead to ask questions and understand preparation practices
– Request any special accommodations needed to avoid cross-contact
– Provide clear communication about the necessity of gluten-free practices
– Thank staff for taking steps to safely accommodate your needs
With some proactivity and teamwork with the restaurant, those who are gluten-free absolutely can feast on Domino’s delicious foods without the worry and reaction risks!
Domino’s wings come with some cautions for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity due to potential cross-contamination. Individual factors like sensitivity level and reaction severity need to be considered when deciding if ordering the wings is a safe choice. Proactive questions about ingredients and kitchen practices are a must to fully understand if Domino’s wings can be reasonably enjoyed. For those who cannot eliminate the risk of trace gluten exposure, Domino’s offers other tasty gluten-free options. With some awareness and planning, people who are gluten-free can still enjoy great-tasting Domino’s meals.