Is Gluten-free pizza safe for celiacs?
In the past few weeks there has been much talk about the "gluten-free" label on products to which so many celiacs have entrusted their health.
Unfortunately, profit over ethics has been leading the game as usual. Therefore, a product labelled "gluten-free" may include within its ingredients hidden traces of gluten.
This came to no surprise to me, as I am aware that cross-contamination is common in many foods/ingredients that celiacs consider harmless, such as spices and maltodextrin.
So is Gluten-free pizza safe for celiacs?
As an Italian vegan with celiac disease, I wish I could say yes, and just wake up from a terrible nightmare. The reality is hard to swallow, in fact not all pizzas are safe, and those that are, can be disappointing in their overall yummy pizza performance: flavourful, chewy, yet crisp,...
But, just like vegan cheeses were not all created equal, same goes for pizza crusts. The good news is that producers are maximising their efforts to make them taste just like the real thing.
What you need to consider
If you are eating at home there are more and more pizza crusts on the market that are 100% certified gluten-free, meaning that they were produced in an establishment for ONLY gluten-free products. Whenever you read "traces" of wheat in the ingredients, discard the product and don't settle for anything less than 100% certified gluten-free. Your health is at stake! Keep in mind that celiac disease leads to colon cancer, if you do not follow a strict gluten-free regimen.
If you are eating out remember there is no such thing as a safe eating haven for celiacs, unless the menu is 100% gluten-free. Many eateries will tell you that they do their best to keep utensils and work surfaces clear of cross-contamination, but that is simply impossible and traces will eventually end up in your food.
How is “gluten-free” defined in the rule?
In general, foods may be labeled “gluten-free” if they meet the definition and otherwise comply with the final rule’s requirements. More specifically, the final rule defines "gluten-free" as meaning that the food either is inherently gluten free; or does not contain an ingredient that is: 1) a gluten-containing grain (e.g., spelt wheat); 2) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has not been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat flour); or 3) derived from a gluten-containing grain that has been processed to remove gluten (e.g., wheat starch), if the use of that ingredient results in the presence of 20 parts per million (ppm) or more gluten in the food. Also, any unavoidable presence of gluten in the food must be less than 20 ppm. source
After being bed-ridden with a fever for the past week, due to cross-contamination, I have decided I will no longer take the risk. I'll just make my pizza and eat it, too!
This post was created with pure gluten-free love