In April of this year, the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) kick started their Amber Designation for restaurants. The Amber Designation was one of their two-tier designation in their GREAT Kitchens program. In an effort to distinguish gluten free food from safe gluten free food, they provided two designations: green for safe and and amber, designating gluten free ingredients, but may contain gluten cross contamination.
Domino’s Pizza was in the spotlight with their new Amber designated gluten free pizza crust. They stated it was certified gluten free, but it was not safe for those with celiac disease. However, they did state that their gluten free pizza crust was safe for those with a light gluten sensitivity.
Dr. Alessio Fasano of the University of Maryland School of Medicine’s Center for Celiac Research stated that it was not safe for anyone with any type of gluten related condition.
In a Fox New York video on Domino’s Gluten Free Crust, Dr. Peter Green of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, was quoted as stating that he believes the pizza was created to satisfy the gluten free diet fad. Green states, “I think it’s great that they created a gluten free item, but it’s rather silly, to me, to create the item and then tell the people who really need it that they shouldn’t eat it.” He was also quoted as stating that the NFCA is comprised of lay people, not experts.
On Friday, May 18, 2012 The NFCA announced, in a statement, that their Amber Designation is suspended. The NFCA now warns that Domino’s pizza crust is not recommeded for those with celiac disease or any gluten-related disorder.
Perhaps this will put a little more pressure on the FDA to finalize their decision on determining what is a safe amount of gluten in products labeled gluten free.
Original article on Domino’s Gluten Free Pizza Awarded Amber Designation by NFCA
Press Release on Amber Designation Suspended:
The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness Issues Statement Regarding the Suspended Use of the “Amber” Designation to Describe a Restaurant or Foodservice Establishment