With a growing awareness of what a gluten intolerance is and how it affects individuals, many restaurants now offer gluten-free menu items in addition to their signature menu items. The option of gluten-free food enables families to enjoy an evening out together. If you or a child of yours has a gluten intolerance, you know that it can be frustrating to go out to eat and have to take a separate meal because a restaurant doesn't offer a gluten-free menu. However, even pizza places – one of America's top 10 favorite foods – have gluten-free options to choose from. Pizza places are very careful in how they prepare your gluten-free pizza so you can safely enjoy a family favorite.
Gluten-Free Crust: Where it Comes From and How it's Handled
While most pizza restaurants boast their own, home-made crusts, they don't risk making a gluten-free crust in their store. Instead, they ensure that the gluten-free crust has not come into contact with their other crusts in these ways:
- Specially Ordered: Gluten-free crusts are ordered specially. If the restaurant is part of a chain, they are typically ordered through the company so that each store offers the same size and style of gluten-free crust.
- Individually Sealed: Crusts are individually sealed and only one package is open at a time. If crusts were to be sealed in packets of 10 or so, the restaurant would have a difficult time preventing contamination. Open packages could come in contact with other crusts being stored.
- Prepared Separately: When a gluten-free pizza is ordered, cooks must handle the pizza separately from other pizzas being prepared. If the restaurant is large enough, a separate preparation table is used. If it is a smaller restaurant, the pizza is placed on a sanitized tray so it doesn't touch the countertop.
Gluten-Free Pizza: How it is Prepared and Served
Special precautions are taken in preparing and serving gluten-free pizza to customers. Any chance of cross contamination must be eliminated. To do that, the restaurant has these guidelines for preparing and serving gluten-free food:
- Sanitize First: Not only must a tray be sanitized before the crust can go on the preparation table, but workers must wash their hands or wear new gloves before handling a gluten-free order.
- Use Separate Utensils: Cooks cannot use the same bowl to measure pizza toppings. They have to exchange the sauce spoon for a newly cleaned one, as well. If they don't, they risk contaminating the crust because these measuring bowls and utensils come in contact with regular pizza crust. If you have a high gluten intolerance, you know that even touching breads can cause uncomfortable symptoms and is a major health risk for you.
- Serve Carefully: Baking and slicing the pizza are done with as much care as creating the pizza is. When serving a gluten-free pizza, servers must either wash their hands immediately before serving the pizza or wear gloves to bring it out. The pizza is brought separately from the rest of the family's order so you don't have to worry about it touching any other pizzas while the kids clamor and jostle for the first slice.
- Delivery Guidelines: If you opt for pizza delivery, the gluten free pizza will be stored in a separate compartment or bag as the rest of the pizzas. Although pizza boxes prevent them from being touched, your delivery driver will keep the pizza separate so it can be handed to you with instructions on which is the gluten-free pizza. You can then take proper precautions with opening and serving the pizza.
Ordering pizza is always a great option for family dinner. With gluten-free pizza available, you don't have to worry about one member of the family feeling left out. And with the careful preparations that go into making your gluten-free pizza, you can feel confident that the pizza hasn't been contaminated by other ones being cooked and served.Share