Pizza Hut Gluten-Free Pizza

Pizza Hut Now Has Gluten-Free Pizza - Should You Order It?

Is Pizza Hut gluten-free pizza truly safe?. Tim Boyle/Getty Images News

Pizza Hut is the latest pizza restaurant chain to jump on the gluten-free diet bandwagon and offer gluten-free pizza. 

The gluten-free pizzas, made with crusts from Udi's Gluten-Free, are available in either cheese-only or cheese and pepperoni versions. Udi's is certified gluten-free by the Gluten-Free Certification Organization (GFCO), which requires testing to below 10 parts per million of gluten (lower is better).

But is Pizza Hut gluten-free pizza safe enough for those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity to order?

There's good news, pizza lovers: Pizza Hut's gluten-free pizza (in cheese-only and cheese and pepperoni flavors) has been approved by the Gluten-Free Food Service Training and Management certification program, the restaurant-based counterpart to the GFCO. Both are run by the Gluten Intolerance Group (GIG).

How Does Pizza Hut Do It?

Pizza Hut urges gluten-free customers to notify a store manager of their needs when ordering — that should get you the most reliable service.

To prevent gluten cross-contamination, Pizza Hut stores the crust, toppings and sauce in a "gluten-free designated kit," and bakes the resulting gluten-free pizza on parchment paper in its pizza oven. Pizza Hut employees also wear clean gloves and use a gluten-free pizza roller cutter (stored in dedicated gluten-free containers) to handle gluten-free pizzas.

Pizza Hut says it does not have any loose or airborne flour in locations where the gluten-free pizza is offered. (Learn more about this hazard: Is It Safe To Eat Gluten-Free Pizza in Regular Pizza Restaurants?)

Any Pizza Hut carry-out or delivery gluten-free pizza will come in its own special Gluten-Free Pizza Hut box (which will feature the Udi's logo), the company says.

If yours doesn't, contact the store immediately.

Another (Potentially Problematic) Pizza Option

Pizza Hut also is offering customers the option of choosing their own toppings for an Udi's gluten-free crust, but with a warning: Only the cheese-only and cheese and pepperoni pizzas are prepared in a way that eliminates cross-contamination, so venturing outside that cheese/pepperoni boundary might lead to more trace gluten on your pie (and possibly a glutening).

"Any gluten-free toppings other than cheese, marinara sauce, and, if selected, pepperoni, come from the make table where all toppings are stored," the company says in a statement. "We've trained our team members to take specific precaution when making these pizzas, but we cannot guarantee no gluten cross-contact as these additional toppings are not stored separately from the ingredients that are used to top our gluten-containing crusts."

Also, steer clear of Pizza Hut meatballs and creamy garlic parmesan sauce, along with Sauce Drizzles and Crust Flavors — they either contain gluten (the meatballs and the parmesan sauce) or are at very high risk of cross-contamination (Sauce Drizzles and Crust Flavors).

Finally, note that all Pizza Hut chicken wings do contain gluten, so if you want a safe appetizer, you'll have to look elsewhere.

The Bottom Line

Pizza Hut's gluten-free pizza offering has been well thought-out, with considerable help from the experts at the Gluten-Free Food Service Training and Management certification program. It should be as safe as any pizza from a restaurant that doesn't have airborne flour and does take stringent precautions to guard against cross-contamination.

However, if you're not happy with your Pizza Hut gluten-free pizza, I urge you to contact store management (and potentially corporate customer relations) to let them know there was a problem. As we all know, preparing safe gluten-free food requires a learning curve, and some individual Pizza Hut locations may turn out to be better at this than others.

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