Gluten-free Pizza Goes Mainstream

Gluten-free Pizza Goes Mainstream

(NewsUSA) - For people with celiac disease, going out to eat can prove difficult -; they might not be able to find any gluten-free options on the menu, or they might receive food that has been contaminated on shared kitchen tools.
One percent of Americans have celiac disease, an autoimmune condition that damages the lining of the intestine. Celiacs must avoid any food that contains gluten, which can be found not only in obvious items like bread, but also in beer, soy sauce, gumbo and condiments. For many celiacs, eating in seems like the only safe option.
But some restaurants are taking steps to make dining out easier for celiacs. For example, UNO Chicago Grill has recently unveiled a new, gluten-free menu. This menu, which includes pizza, steaks, salads, chicken and fish, appeals to a wide variety of customers. But it is especially geared toward those with celiac disease, and its most popular item by far is UNO's gluten-free pizza.
Prepared with a thin crust, and offered in cheese, pepperoni or veggie varieties, UNO's gluten-free pizza allows celiac sufferers to enjoy a previously forbidden food that most people take for granted.
"Pizza is our signature product, and we wanted to offer a gluten-free pizza so all of our guests could enjoy it when dining at UNO," notes UNO CEO Frank Guidara.
Were a celiac to eat a piece of regular pizza, they could experience migraines, vomiting, anxiety, skin rashes and abdominal pain. Undiagnosed celiac disease can lead to serious illness, including anemia, liver diseases, intestinal damage and malnutrition.
"Because of these serious symptoms, it has historically been very difficult for celiac sufferers to dine out," Guidara said. "It is time for that to change, and we hope others will follow suit in developing their own gluten-free menus. Everyone benefits when that happens."