California Pizza Kitchen’s Gluten-Free Menu: Update

CPKA quick read through the comments on both our original and follow-up posts about California Pizza Kitchen’s new gluten-free pizzas makes two things pretty clear:

First: more of you (by the number of comments on the follow-up only) had positive experiences than negative.

Second: many of you still have some significant concerns, sometimes as a direct result of cross-contamination.

For those of you in the second group especially, I think the Gluten-Free Glutton‘s chat with CPK corporate will be heartening.

As published in the Florida Times-Union last week, a spokeswoman for California Pizza Kitchen admitted that management didn’t fully understand the danger of cross-contamination when they launched the menu. However, she’s reported as saying , “They’ve taken notice and they’re changing a lot of things.”

According to the article, all kitchens are now instructed to use clean plates and utensils, and cook the pizzas in foil boats to avoid contamination. The article also acknowledges that there’s still plenty of wheat flour in the kitchen, so complete confidence is hard to come by. It’s worth adding that this is the case with almost any pizzeria serving both gluten-free and gluten-full dough, of course.

At the end of the day, it comes down to the same thing as it did before: trust your gut (pun intended). Talk with your local CPK. Some are clearly more well-versed in the gluten-free diet than others.

As management becomes better-aware, though, it’s quite likely that more and more of us will find our local California Pizza Kitchen does understand the risks and requirements of feeding someone with celiac disease. I’d never blame anyone for hesitating to return to the source of a glutening, but it does seem like CPK is going to make a good-faith effort to keep things safe going forward. Given that they could just as easily decide to cut their losses and pull the gluten-free menu altogether, or refuse to make any changes at all, I’d say CPK is moving in the right direction.

Your thoughts?


12 thoughts on “California Pizza Kitchen’s Gluten-Free Menu: Update”

  1. I became so sick after eating at CPK last week, that I will not return. I have eaten at many other pizzerias that serve both gluten-full and gluten-free pizza and have never had an issue. Their lack of understanding from the beginning tells me that their heart just is not in the right place.

  2. Did they not have a policy to serve food on clean plates with clean utensils before? I am a little disturbed by that…

  3. I agree with both posts of Michael and Marisa. Come on … they will use clean plates and utensils for GF food. What are the others getting? This just seems like a non thinking response to some genuine concerns regarding the product they are offering. And, yes – what about cross contamination? This again is why – I make my pizza at home. I don’t patronize establishments that are so gluten friendly! But, that is my choice as have adapted to not dining out as much as pre-Celiac diagnosis!!

  4. how would they feel if it was their bodies at risk?
    for example people with other types of allergies
    such as fish. they should take in to concideration the pain
    that we go threw if we accedentally eat gluten.

  5. I have had NO Problem with CPK gluten free pizza! I was so excited to learn they have them. Boy was I very shocked when I went today to get a gf pizza and was told they were no longer carrying them because of cross contamination possibilities. I tell you I almost cried right there. I was too upset to ak if the situation was temporary. So bummed!

  6. CPK has pulled their gluten free crust! Please be aware as this totally blew our vacation evening with our kids as we were left scrambling to find somewhere they could eat in a town we didn’t know.

  7. I had some issues with watching them prepare the pizza – they would take pepperoni out with gloves and work on a regular pizza… then if order a gluten free pizza they didn’t change their gloves. Also when working with regular pizzas in the oven and then cutting a gluten free pizza, they would touch the gf pizza – not previously changing their gloves.

    I watched them to the exact thing I mentiooned above at Florida Mall CPK – I kindly asked them to make me another, and I watched to make sure they did things they should do to make sure the pizza was gluten free.

    It is a shame they are not going to serve the pizzas anymore, however, it they can’t make them gluten free and follow guidelines then they should remove them as it hurts many people when they have cross contamination.

  8. I am glad they pulled the gluten free options and hope they educate their staff and management when they decide to reintroduce it. Hopefully they will put it back out there, but this time seriously reducing cross contamination issues. They should take some lessons from PF Changs.

  9. For someone with celiac disease, it would be in the best interest to pull GF. It’s impossible to say that it’s safe with all the wheat and gluten in the air, in the cambros that hold the toppings as well as prep boards…to name a few, there’s no way it would be safe..
    If the pizzara was brand new with a dedicated oven, proper ventilation it might be different, I might feel different.
    But as far as clean plates, folks n knives….come on, I would expect that every customers would be given such!

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