Chuck E Cheese Offering GF Options in Test Markets

I just read this article from the Wall Street Journal’s Market Watch on Chuck E Cheese.

The chain is going to start offering gluten-free options, pizza from Conte’s and cupcakes from Fabe’s, testing in all Minnesota locations.

According to the article:

Dining out safely remains a primary concern for food-allergic customers under strict dietary limitations. To avoid cross contamination or accidental exposure to gluten ingredients in Chuck E. Cheese’s kitchens, the personal cheese pizza, manufactured by USDA/FDA-approved, gluten-free facility Conte’s Pasta, will arrive to stores in frozen, pre-sealed packaging. The bake-in-bag pizza will remain sealed while cooked and delivered and until opened and served with a personal pizza cutter at families’ tables by the adult in charge.

Under the same procedure, gluten-free, chocolate fudge cupcakes naturally sweetened with fruits, vegetables and grains from Fabe’s All Natural Bakery will remain in pre-sealed, single-serve packaging through preparation and until opened and served at the table. To ensure high taste, integrity and quality standards are met before a national launch, testing these menu options helps Chuck E. Cheese’s deliver the same type of consistent, great-tasting food products that are expected from the leader in family entertainment and dining.

“From delivery to table, our procedures ensure that families can feel confident knowing their meal is completely within gluten-free guidelines,” said Elliott. “We’re happy we can provide a place ‘Where a Kid Can Be a Kid’ and enjoy great fun and food guilt- and gluten-free.”

This makes me happy, especially after reading about Domino’s pizza.  I didn’t post anything about it because I wasn’t sure if I could do so without getting too upset.  In case you didn’t see the news, Domino’s pizza has said they are going to be offering gluten-free pizzas EXCEPT they aren’t safe for celiacs (What research is there to show that it’s safe for the gluten sensitive?  None.).  I don’t know if they just want to be lazy and reap the benefits of opening up in the gluten-free market or what.  From the article I read, it appears that they aren’t even going to concern themselves with cross-contact in the kitchen.  At all.

What are your thoughts on Chuck E Cheese?

How about this Domino’s issue?

(Update 5/9/12 6:15 pm.  Read the second comment below for the official statement from the Gluten Intolerance Group.)

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2 Responses to Chuck E Cheese Offering GF Options in Test Markets

  1. Great post! I had no idea about Chuck E. Cheese offering gf…looks like they are taking good precautions though. NOT a fan of Domino’s and what they are doing with the pizza! Not cool how people are jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon without being careful.

  2. Cassandra says:

    The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America has just issued a statement:

    GIG has been asked to take an official position on the recent Domino’s announcement about their gluten free pizza. Our position follows:

    GIG welcomes restaurants and food services who are committed to producing safe gluten free meal options for their guests. GIG knows that care must be taken to evaluate the food service’s ability to do so in a safe environment and that this should not be undertaken with the idea that a gluten-free food is safe for some people but not others.

    Food services should approach gluten free meal options the same way they handle allergens. There is only one option – food that is safe for all persons living gluten free, no matter why they are living gluten free. GIG works with many types of food services to successfully implement gluten-free options safely. GIG’s programs have been implemented in hotels and hospitals, camps and schools, and many restaurants, including numerous pizza chains.

    While GIG appreciates Domino’s desire to offer a gluten free pizza, we do not feel the effort put forth demonstrates a true commitment toward making a safe environment for producing gluten free food.

    As more restaurants try to meet the need of gluten free consumers, GIG reminds you that it is important to feel confident in the meal you are ordering. Ask questions. If you are not confident the meal is safe – do not eat it.

    Sincerely,

    Cynthia Kupper, RD
    Executive Director
    Gluten Intolerance Group

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