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False Gluten Free Advertising from Pizza Pizza in Canada

Updated on July 8, 2011
Pizza Pizza - Hot & Fresh
Pizza Pizza - Hot & Fresh | Source

Pizza Pizza is a Canadian pizza franchise which begun in Ontario several years ago. It is quite a destination for a variety of Canadians and is one of the country's favourite pizza outlet. Through the years, it has spread to other locations and when travelling around any Canadian state, your bound at least see one around!

Furthermore, as with many pizza chains and franchises including Domino's Pizza Australia/New Zealand, Eagle Boys, Crust, Pizza Capers, Fuel Pizza, Zeffirelli and more, they offer GLUTEN FREE pizzas.

But, the question is (as always), how 'gluten free' are they really?

Do they comply with the Canadian Legislation surrounding gluten free labelling?

Canada's food labelling regulation states:

"A food is not permitted to be labelled, packaged, sold or advertised in a manner likely to create an impression that it is 'gluten-free' unless it does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye, triticale or any part thereof." (Reference 9.9.4 Gluten-Free Foods [B.24.018, B.24.019])

That sounds quite strict to me. Personally I find this to be very solid compared to the 'lack of' legislation surrounding gluten free labelling in the United States of America, however does that necessarily mean that a food service outlet like Pizza Pizza would pay any attention???


Based on the following disclaimer found on their Gluten Free Ingredients List (May 2010), I think NOT!:

"Ingredients listed here are reported by our suppliers. Items may be subjected to change without notice. If you have a food allergy or intolerance, please be aware that Pizza Pizza products may have come into contact with possible allergens. Pizza Pizza is a restaurant environment, serving foods that are not in sealed packages. Therefore, we unfortunately cannot guarantee a 100% allergy-free environment. Pizza Pizza Limited, its franchisees and employees do not assume responsibility for a particular sensitivity or allergy to any food provided in our restaurants."

Not only does this disclaimer give celiac consumers doubt as to whether they really are safe ordering their so-called 'gluten free' pizza from this destination, it also goes completely AGAINST what is specified in the above legislation!

This is misleading advertising. We didn't have this NONSENSE when I was first diagnosed 18 years ago with celiac disease and I would hate to think of what it would be like for newly diagnosed celiacs who have just been told they must not consume any trace of gluten. then they come across a business like Pizza Pizza that offers GLUTEN FREE BASES! Yet they make it clear that it's likely that the so-called 'gluten free' order will have come into contact with gluten! This is highlighted by the ridiculous disclaimer above!

It greatly disappoints me how much celiac disease is underestimated, IT REALLY DOES. I hope Pizza Pizza will one day offer a 100% gluten free pizza. If enough of us complain to them and the Canadian Celiac Association, I am 100% sure that something will be done about it!

It is ILLEGAL to label something as gluten free in Canada if it contains gluten! Even if it was due to accidental cross contamination! Not allowed, ILLEGAL!

Leave your views below. As I come from Australia, I know little about this pizza chain but from what I can tell, it appears that all they're doing is EXPLOITING a niche market of stupid gluten free 'FAD' dieters, making everyday life far more risky for us as celiacs!


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    • infonolan profile image

      infonolan 6 years ago from Australia

      David H, it doesn't matter what people have to do. The law is the law. Period.

    • profile image

      David H 6 years ago

      I will add my voice with the group: you should be ashamed and edit your blog to stop looking stupid. You know nothing of our super-weak canadian labeling practices and know nothing of pizza-pizza. Of course there is a risk, they do their best to avoid it, and they clearly warn you with a warning sticker that you have to break in order to open the box.

      Anyway, I doubt you're future in law, I would delete this post if I were you, does not advertise great judgement in your behalf.

    • profile image

      CherBear1981 6 years ago

      I live in Canada and have celiac disease. I am highly sensitive to gluten. I cannot have the GF pizza from Pizza Pizza as I get really sick. I can't even walk into the restaurant as I get sick just from the flour in the air. I know many celiacs who feel the same way I do about the gluten free pizza.

    • infonolan profile image

      infonolan 6 years ago from Australia

      Why don't you, Dave? ;)

    • profile image

      Dave 6 years ago

      Wow this is the stupidest blog I have ever seen.

      These companies are going out of their way and are helping ceoliacs and your trying to bring them down.

      Why don't you get off your own ass and start your own restaurant and actually do something useful for ceoliacs.

    • profile image

      LeAnn 6 years ago

      Every time I call Pizza Pizza to order a GF pizza, they carefully go over the ingredients list for the toppings with me to make sure I'll be safe, and they reassure me that they use new gloves, and separate pans/utensils, and that they open new packages of toppings to make the GF orders. I've been ordering from Pizza Pizza at least once a month for probably the last two years and I've never had a reaction. Contrary to what this article says, Pizza Pizza is truly a celiac's dream restaurant because of their level of concern for customer safety. Their crust is also really good - thin but not too thin, crispy but not hard, nice flavor, and the leftovers reheat very well. And there is so much variety in the toppings! They even have zucchini and broccoli. If you live in Canada, don't be scared off by this article (which was written by someone who has never even been to Pizza Pizza). You will have a good experience ordering from Pizza Pizza.

    • profile image

      John Metford 6 years ago


      Firstly, your article is riddled with poor grammar

      (i.e begun, one of the country's favourite pizza outlet)

      It appears to me that Pizza Pizza is doing a great job at offering something on their menu for those affected with Celiac Disease.

      Of course they can't guarantee it at 100%, it's a pizza establishment. If you can't understand that, then don't eat there.

    • profile image

      Thomas Phillips 6 years ago

      Obviously infonolan is intent on pursuing this crusade against corporations and their advertising. I for one appreciate Pizza Pizza's attempting to facilitate my needs, It’s a lot better than any of the other pizza guys. While I realize it’s the "hip" thing to target the big corporations in this witch-hunt of a blog, It might be beneficial to do some background work on practices and regulations in the industry. infonolan is forgetting which colony he/she resides in. I read the article posted by Pizza Pizza and it is all there. While I am in no place to do any teaching myself I would assume infonolan is in need of a good education.

    • profile image

      Pizza Pizza LTD 6 years ago

      Gluten is not a part of the ingredients in those items that we sell as gluten free. Due to restaurant environment, cross contamination may occur. Although we do our health & safety measures to avoid cross contamination, we cannot guarantee 100%. The new labeling requirement by Health Canada only pertains to prepackaged food which requires a label. Restaurants are exempted. This requirement also excludes cross contamination of allergens or gluten. Here is the link for the new labeling requirement:

      You may consult with Health Canada for any further explanation of the policy.

      Thank you

      Pizza Pizza Quality Control

    • infonolan profile image

      infonolan 6 years ago from Australia

      J.B., at least here in Australia, there are many businesses in the foodservice who DO take their gluten free labelling seriously. I have posted on Muffin Break a while back and they do comply with our food labelling regulations. More information is available here:

      I think the foodservice industry needs to shape up in general, however I'm glad to hear that your experiences have all been positive at Pizza Pizza.

      Hope this clarifies the above.

    • profile image

      J.B. 6 years ago

      You are not a lawyer and you are falsely accusing one of the best business we have of breaking the law when it is simply not true. The law that you are quoting does not apply in the way that you think it does. You are making an interpretation that you are not qualified to make. You may be studying law in Australia, but that does not make you qualified to practice law in Canada. Can ask, in all seriousness, what possible good you think will come of accusing business of false advertising? You seem to not care about what the restaurants actually do, only about posted disclaimers (which they have so that people don't sue them - if they didn't have the disclaimer, someone could falsely claim that they were glutened by a restaurant in order to sue and make money). Shouldn't it be about the actions and practices of a restaurant? You are right about the fact that you know little about this pizza chain. They have bent over backwards to help me and other celiacs that I know have a safe and enjoyable dining experience. Maybe you should start posting about things that you do know about. There is no way for any restaurant that serves any food containing gluten to 100% guarantee that there is no possibility of cross-contamination and any restaurant that would attempt to do so by offering a gluten free menu without a disclaimer would be irresponsible at best.

    • infonolan profile image

      infonolan 6 years ago from Australia

      J.B., I think it is unacceptable and wrong for businesses like Pizza Pizza to be (according to Canada's legislation as highlighted above) falsely and ILLEGALLY advertising their menu items as 'gluten free'. It doesn't matter that they're trying. If they're breaking the law, there is very little point in offering gluten free fare.

    • profile image

      J.B. 6 years ago

      You have really gone too far this time! I have eaten pizza from Pizza Pizza for about two years now and they are one of the best providers of gluten free pizza I have ever seen! Every time I order online, the restaurant calls me on the phone to go over the ingredients in the toppings I have chosen as well as their food handling practices to make sure that I am safe. I have never been ill from eating their pizza. HOW DARE YOU attack restaurants that go out of their way to help customers with celiac disease?!? You don't even live in Canada! You need to stop this immediately! I will be reporting your posts from now on to the companies that you are slandering so that they can take legal action if necessary against your false accusations. I would urge other readers who see your spam on facebook to do the same. This is completely unacceptable and wrong.


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