False Gluten Free Advertising from Pizza Pizza in Canada
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!