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Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint launched a gluten-free kids' pizza this week. The kids' meal pizzas are available with a choice of more than 25 gluten-free toppings.

For people with gluten allergies, including celiac disease, eating food containing gluten can cause varying degrees of illness and internal bodily damage. For families with one or more members who have food allergies, finding suitable dining options is difficult.

Jessica Stewart, a Louisville-area mom and blogger at Allergic to Air has a son with several food allergies, including wheat. "I can't tell you how excited I was to learn about Uncle Maddio's," she said. "Going out for pizza as a family was always such a hassle because we had to bring our own food. Now we can all eat pizza together and feel safe knowing that he is getting a great pizza that's gluten- and allergen-free."

Uncle Maddio's takes special precautions to ensure the crust is safer for people with gluten allergies. In order to prevent cross-contamination, pizza makers at Uncle Maddio's take special steps when preparing and serving gluten-free pizza, including: putting on new gloves; using separate pans and utensils; and pulling toppings from fresh bins (when asked).

The Uncle Maddio's restaurant design allows customers to watch their pizza being prepared directly in front of them. The transparent food prep process allows customers with food allergies to make sure their order is accurate and safe.

"Uncle Maddio's is all about giving people choices," said Matt Andrew, Uncle Maddio's founder and chief pizza maker. "That means giving everyone a chance to eat pizza that not only tastes great, but is safe for them to eat."

The Uncle Maddio's gluten-free dough is made from a combination of rice, tapioca and potato flours and is available in a 9-inch pizza and as a 6-inch pizza in a combo and kids' meals.

Atlanta-based Uncle Maddio's expects to have 20 restaurants open by the end of 2012, and 125 more are in development throughout the Southeast.

Read more about food safety.

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