In celebration of National Celiac Awareness Month, Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint is adding a gluten-free dessert to its menu, an oat bar infused with caramel.
More than 30 percent of Americans are eliminating gluten from their diet, according to the NPD Group, a trend that Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint is embracing. Its gluten-free menu accounts for 5 to 7 percent of pizza sales in each of its 18 units, according to a company press release.
The chain already offers gluten-free pizza crust, and many locations also include gluten-free beer options on their beverage menus. Other gluten-free options include a kid's meal pizza and more than 25 gluten-free toppings and salad dressings.
"We 'Serve with Love' at Uncle Maddio's Pizza Joint, and believe the best way to show that love is to provide everyone with great tasting foods that fit in with every dietary need and lifestyle choice," said Uncle Maddio's Chef Alex Cook. "We train all employees on proper food handling procedures, as it pertains to gluten-free diets, as well as food allergies. We love our customers and want to serve their individual choices and needs — in the same way that we feed members of our families."
Uncle Maddio's takes special precautions to ensure that their crust is safer for people with gluten allergies, Cook said. 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. 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 ensure their order is accurate and safe, Cook said.
Read more about healthy menu items.