(CBS)-- Domino's announced Monday it will be the first national pizza delivery chain to offer gluten-free crust to its consumers.
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Starting today, the pizza chain will offer a small, 10-inch gluten-free crust at all U.S. stores.
Domino's partnered with the National Foundation for Celiac Awareness to make sure its gluten-free pizza met the criteria for the foundation's "GREAT (Gluten-Free Resource Education and Awareness Training) Kitchens Amber Designation."
Celiac disease is a digestive condition that causes the immune system to react to gluten (a protein found in wheat and some grains), causing damage to the small intestines and preventing absorption of essential nutrients. Symptoms vary from person to person, but may include nausea and vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, constipation, and diarrhea.
According to the foundation, its "Amber Designation" means the ingredients have been verified and managers and staff have been trained on the basics, but kitchen practices may vary with this designation, so "those with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity should ask questions and exercise judgment when dining at an establishment with an Amber Designation."
As such, Domino's said in a company statement it does not recommend the new crust for people with celiac disease.
"Domino's and the NFCA found that while the crust is certified as gluten free, current store operations at Domino's cannot guarantee that each handcrafted pizza will be completely free from gluten," the company's news release said.
According to Domino's and the NFCA, the crust is a better fit for people with gluten sensitivity.
What's the difference?
Celiac disease is diagnosed through a blood or stool test, so people experiencing discomfort who do not test positive for celiac disease may have gluten sensitivity. People with gluten sensitivity might experience similar symptoms as someone with celiac disease, but they are often less severe.
The condition is thought to have become more common in recent years affecting millions of people, but a recent study this February found many people experiencing symptoms such as diarrhea, cramps and bloating might have a condition that causes similar symptoms - irritable bowel syndrome. That means a gluten-free diet won't be of much help in reducing symptoms.
People who think they are sensitive to gluten or have celiac disease should consult with a doctor.