Papa John's Now Makes Gluten-Free Pizza — But There's A Catch

Photographed by Nicole Maroon.
Pizza is one of the most blessedly delicious and almost always convenient meals on this planet. So, when we found out that Papa John's was bringing it to even more people by releasing a new gluten-free pizza, we were overjoyed. Unfortunately, our joy and gratitude didn't last long because the pizza chain recently told CNBC that eating the new GF pizza crust probably isn't actually the best idea for anyone with celiac disease or a serious gluten intolerance.
Papa John's made it's "Ancient Grains Gluten-Free Crust" available at the beginning of this week, and according to the descriptions on the Papa John's website, it made with Sorghum, Teff, Amaranth, and Quinoa, hence the "Ancient Grains" name. The pizza chain says the crust is "thin and crispy with a uniquely delicious flavor." That all sounds appealing, right? Well don't forget there's still that one major catch.
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Following the recent release of the Ancient Grains Gluten-Free Crust, Papa John's told CNBC that though the restaurant has a procedure to prevent the GF crust from coming into contact with gluten, "it is possible that a pizza with Papa John's Ancient Grains Gluten-Free Crust is exposed to gluten during the ordinary preparation process." It also advised, "Please use your best judgment in ordering a pizza with Papa John's Ancient Grains Gluten-Free Crust if you have a sensitivity to gluten."
Based on that, it sounds like Papa John's is trying to compete with other pizza chains like Domino's and Pizza Hut, both of which already have GF crusts on their menus. However, these competitors give similar warnings about consuming their crusts, as well. Domino's writes on it's website, "We make all of our pizzas in the same kitchens; and even as clean as we keep them, there may be trace glutens present. Therefore, it wouldn't be entirely honest to guarantee that pizzas made with this crust are absolutely gluten free." Even Pizza Hut, who partnered with the Gluten Intolerance Group to create it's crust, warns, "Pizza Hut kitchens are not gluten-free environments." So, this new, not entirely GF gluten-free, crust from Papa John's seems to be par for the course for pizza chains.
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