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On July 31, Gatti's Pizza will offer guests one free 12-inch medium three-topping gluten-free pizza. This one day event kicks off the launch of gluten-free pizzas now available at all 16 Gatti's Pizza restaurants in Austin, Texas.

The free gluten-free offering is available for pick-up only July 31 and limited to one per guest order at participating locations.

The menu price for a 10-inch gluten-free pizza with up to three toppings is $12.59, and a 12-inch gluten-free pizza with up to three toppings is $14.59. The regular priced gluten-free pizza is available for pick-up, delivery and at Gatti's Pizza dine-in locations.

"Many people have celiac disease and other gluten sensitivities and we are excited to be able to provide our Austin guests a gluten free option with a delicious taste profile unlike any other gluten free crust," said Gatti's CEO Richard Snead. "We wanted to find a way to drive trial of our new gluten free pizza and thought what better way than to let our guests sample it for free."

The gluten-free crust is made in Austin in a 100-percent gluten-free facility by Smart Flour Foods, whose blend includes tapioca, amaranth and teff flours. The crust does not contain any wheat, rye, barley, or oats and also is free of casein, egg, soy, rice and nuts. Gatti's cheese and all-natural pizza sauce, as well as all of Gatti's meat and vegetable pizza toppings, are gluten-free.

Training and handling procedures

Gatti's Pizza worked with Smart Flour Foods and members of the Gluten Intolerance Group of Central and South Texas to develop specific procedures to protect against cross contamination with glutens, beginning with a mandatory training program that each employee must undergo before they can take an order for or prepare a gluten free pizza. Each crust is delivered to the restaurants individually wrapped and is stored in that wrapper right up to the point of preparation.

Food preparers are required to wear clean gloves prior to handling the gluten-free crust, which is placed into a dedicated pan and unwrapped directly into the pan so that it is never touched, even by a gloved hand. The pizza pan has raised edges, to prevent the gluten-free crust from coming into contact with other pizzas. The pizza sauce used for the gluten free pizzas is stored in a dedicated container and applied with a dedicated utensil, which is a different color from the other utensils in the kitchen. The gluten-free pizza is cooked in the pan and removed from the oven and its pan using a dedicated utensil that is, again, a different color from the standard utensils.

The gluten-free pizza is then placed from the oven directly into a pizza box and cut in the box using a dedicated utensil that is both a different color and shape from the standard cutting utensils used in the kitchens. To ensure proper handling, a single employee performs each step of the preparation process for a gluten-free pizza. Further, the gluten-free pans and utensils are washed in between uses and stored in a cabinet separate from other pans and utensils to protect against cross contact with glutens.

More information about the steps Gatti's Pizza takes to prevent cross-contamination is available at GattisPizzaAustin.com, under the "Gluten Free" tab.

Read more about food safety.

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