LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Papa John's sent mixed messages Monday when it distributed a press release announcing its new gluten-free pizza crust -- but warning customers with "serious gluten intolerances" not to eat it.
According to the news release, the "Gluten-Free Crust made from Ancient Grains" is made with sorghum, teff, amaranth and quinoa, and is never frozen. A two-topping pizza made from the crust is available for $9.00.
"The Ancient Grains are naturally gluten-free and higher in protein and fiber than other grains, while adding a more robust texture and flavor to the crust," the news release states.
The pizza chain said the decision to offer the crust nationally stemmed from the successful pilot testing of the product earlier this year in Los Angeles, Phoenix, St. Louis, Houston and Nashville.
"Eating a gluten-free crust doesn't have to mean eating a bland, tasteless product," said Sean Muldoon, Chief Ingredient Officer at Papa John's. "Our Gluten-Free Crust took more than two years to develop and perfect because taste and texture were key factors in the dough development. The fact that our pilot customers told us they loved the taste proves that we made the right decisions."
But the news release came with a warning targeting the very customers who might be most interested in such a product.
"Operationally, Papa John's employs procedures to prevent contact with gluten, and while the crust is prepared in a separate, gluten-free facility before being shipped to stores, it is possible that a pizza with gluten-free crust could be exposed to gluten during the in-store, pizza-making process," the new release states. "Therefore, the brand does not recommend its Gluten-Free Crust made with Ancient Grains for customers with Celiac Disease or serious gluten intolerances."
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