Oct
31

Gluten-Free Pizza Crusts Now Available at Papa Murphy’s

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PMCookedHave you made your Halloween dinner plans, yet? How about picking up a gluten-free pizza? If you haven’t heard, yet, Papa Murphy’s take ‘n bake pizza locations are now offering Gluten-Free Pizza. The company has teamed up with Udi’s to provide gluten-free crusts to their customers.

I was contacted and requested to try Papa Murphy’s new gluten-free pizza and report on our experience. My first response was, “Gluten-Free Pizza? Yes!” My second response was, “Wait, what about cross-contamination?” So, armed with a gift card for pizza and questions about cross-contamination, I searched out a Papa Murphy’s location to give it a try.

If you aren’t familiar with Papa Murphy’s, they are a take-and-bake business. In other words, you tell them the crust, sauce and toppings you want on a pizza. They assemble the pizza ingredients on site, where you can see them working, and wrap it up for you. You take the pizza home, unwrap the pizza, and bake it in your own oven so it’s hot and fresh.

I went to Papa Murphy’s on a typical weeknight to see how they would handle the gluten-free pizzas. It was a busy evening with several customers ordering regular gluten-containing pizzas. When we placed our order, we were first told that there is only one size — medium. Not a problem. Then I asked the hard question, “What about cross-contamination?” The young man behind the register said that they are trained to do their best to limit the risk of cross-contamination, but that they can not guarantee that it would be 100% gluten-free due to being prepared in a shared facility. He continued to tell me that the pizza crusts are kept in a separate area, and that the pizza would be prepared with freshly changed, clean gloves. So, we continued with the order.

PapaUncookedI was disappointed, but not surprised to find out that they don’t carry a dairy-free cheese. I ordered one gluten-free pizza with lots of fresh ingredients, and one gluten-free pizza with sauce and pepperoni on the side. (I added the pepperoni they provided  me and my own Daiya cheese at home before baking.) Because of the way Papa Murphy’s is set up, I was able to watch all the preparation of the pizzas. Every pizza crust, gluten-free or not, is on a tray. So, the pizza crust comes out on a tray, and goes down the assembly line. One person, with fresh gloves prepares the pizza with fresh ingredients. The pizza is then wrapped in plastic wrap and given to me to take home and bake.

The biggest risk of cross-contamination I saw was that the ingredients for all pizzas came out of the same toppings containers. It is possible that someone preparing a gluten-containing crust touched the crust and then transferred gluten into the toppings containers. The risk of that is somewhat limited by the fact that the crusts are all on disposable baking trays, and the actual touching of the crusts is limited to possibly touching the edge of a pizza. I would be more concerned about dairy cross-contaimination than that of gluten or wheat. My family felt that the risk on that night was somewhat minimal, or at least no more than eating out at a restaurant that isn’t 100% gluten-free.

PMPizzaWe took the pizzas home, baked them, and enjoyed them. They are Udi’s pizza crusts, which are thin crusts. The size is larger than the Udi’s crusts you can buy in the freezer section of your grocery store. Baking instructions called for 15 minutes at 500º. The pizzas both turned out very good. My plain pepperoni and Daiya cheese pizza was not as exciting as the one loaded up with Papa Murphy’s fresh toppings. But, it was still good. And, the good news is that no one got sick from gluten (or dairy).

Would we buy a gluten-free pizza at a Papa Murphy’s location again? Yes, but probably only occasionally. The time it took me to pick up the pizza, take it home and add my own toppings, and then bake it, was no less than it would take me to prepare my own pizzas with Udi’s frozen crusts at home. More convenient perhaps, but not a real time saver for me. The benefit of going to Papa Murphy’s is the wide selection of toppings. (Be sure to check their Allergen Guide before choosing your toppings.) Papa Murphy’s would also be a good option when traveling and visiting with friends and family.

My recommendation if you want to try Papa Murphy’s gluten-free pizza. For the first time, I would suggest going early in the day when it isn’t quite so busy. The toppings containers will be freshly filled, and less likely to have gluten from cross-contamination. There will also be fewer gluten-containing pizzas being prepared at the same time. Besides limiting the cross-conatimination, it also gives the staff an opportunity to take their time and be more cautious. Be sure to talk to the staff, preferably the person preparing your pizza, and tell them about your sensitivity to gluten. Make sure they change their gloves, and watch them as they prepare your pizza. We felt good about the process. However, if you feel uncomfortable with the looks of the preparation area, you may want to ask the staff if they have fresh toppings in the back that are less likely to have been contaminated. If you still aren’t satisfied, leave without the pizza. It’s always better to be safe than sick. If you were satisfied with the preparation, then you should feel good about the fact that it’s being baked in your own oven, and not one that is being shared with other gluten-containing pizzas. 🙂

UdiPapa**CeliacFamily was sent a pizza set and a gift card for Papa Murphy’s pizza as an invitation to try the gluten-free pizza and share our experience with our CeliacFamily.com readers. Feel free to add your own thoughts and opinions on it in the comment section below.

Categories : Dining Out, Food

15 Comments

1

TO Whom it may concern

I read the article from Celiac Family having been diagnosed with Celiac and although I do appreciate the effort I have been trying to find out if your other ingredients have gluten in them such sauce, meat , cheese some of these products do have gluten in them

2

I tried the GF crust from PM and it was probably one of the worst crusts I’ve tasted and it was like it was frozen and not fresh (which is understandable). Both my husband and I got violently ill (which for me has only happened twice before in the last 30 years at other places). We both had GF crust but with entirely different toppings. We’ll never eat there again but I know some have had good luck with the crust.

3

Robin – Thanks for sharing your experience, but I’m sorry it was so awful! I hope you recovered quickly. I would let management know about your issue, too. Sounds like they need to re-evaluate their kitchen practices.

4

Today I was happy to order a gluten free pizza. But before to place the ingredients I asked “is the topping gluten free too?” The answer was “No!” So…for everybody that think to buy a gluten free “PIZZA” is not! Only the crust is gluten free! I wish the pizza guy would tell me that without to be aware and ask! If I was not asking he would have been selling me a pizza with gluten even if my first question was “Is that a gluten free pizza?”.

5

Roberto,

I just recently started eating gluten-free and found this useful link when researching the PM gluten-free crust. It mentions which sauces, ingredients, etc. are gluten free. http://www.papamurphys.com/campaign/glutenfree
I wish you luck!

Heather, thanks for this article. I appreciate the effort and time you took to look into this 🙂

6

Alyssa — Thanks for your helpful response, and the allergen info link!

7

I ordered the gluten free crust last night and this morning I definitely could tell I got gluten from something on the pizza. After reading this article I went to the allergen link proved in the article and unless I’m missing something gluten was listed on everything. Maybe they have gluten free sauce upon request. I don’t know. But doesn’t look like I’ll eat there again.

8

Gina — My family did not notice any problems with the pizza, but I’m sorry you did. I have seen that the allergen list does include wheat in almost everything. I don’t remember that when I wrote the article. I don’t know if that has changed, or I somehow missed it when I first researched it. My family has only eaten the pizza once more since my article. My son did get sick, but he also accidentally ate a cookie with gluten on the same day. So…it’s kind of hard to blame it on the pizza. My daughter and I didn’t eat it because we have problems with dairy. And my husband didn’t report any problems. Anyway, it sounds like avoiding it altogether may be the best thing for you.

9

As someone who is gluten intolerant (but not deathly allergic) I regularly have questions regarding gluten-free labeled options from restaurants, take and bake (aka papa murphys) and store purchased products. Your site is one of the first listed with actual information regarding products during a google chrome web search but I feel alienated and question the information that you are providing as most of it DOES NOT apply to me at all.

I recognize that this blog, site whatever is very specific to your celiac family; please know that you are also one of the primary sources of information for gluten intolerant individuals. If those of us who are gluten intolerant have more information and more options, we will frequent businesses that are nationwide which can thus provide YOUR family with additional options.

My suggestion when you review or discuss items is to initially give a taste review and THEN break it down into gluten free with dairy and without dairy and make the cross-contamination issue a minor rather than a MAJOR part of your reviews. You KNOW there is going to be cross contamination (if you are deathly allergic) everywhere BUT places that cut mushrooms on a different cutting board with a different knife in a different room than the peppers, or meat, or tomatoes, or….

If you are reviewing or discussing options that will NEVER meet extreme dietary requirements, its in your best interest to provide a wider spectrum of information that doesn’t reject gluten intolerant people. The information regarding papa murphy’s gluten free pizza (and YES THIS WAS THE ONLY GOOGLE CHROME REVIEW THAT WAS SPECIFIC AND DETAILED ABOUT THE PRODUCT) was overly specific to the celiac insane needs and OBVIOUSLY!!! this product is not intended for extreme dietary individuals but rather those who have issues with gluten…

your cause and how us gluten intolerant individuals can increase options is negated by such reviews which immediately scream negativity and problems. Please work on how you can help us help you in terms of changing availability and procedures in restaurants slowly through the power of demand.

10

Sara — Thanks for sharing your perspective on the needs of the gluten-intolerant. If you read through other comments I’ve gotten, you’ll see that I get comments from people who don’t think I go far enough in covering the issues of cross-contamination. I try to provide a fair review of products that reflects how we feel about it. And, if products are not truly gluten-free, then I fail to see how that helps celiacs obtain additional options. Your first objective seems to be how something tastes, but when you’re a celiac, it doesn’t matter how it tastes if it’s going to make you sick. I understand how you feel, but I can only write about my family’s own experience.

11

i manage a papa murphy’s that offers gluten free crust. not sure how trafficked your website is, but felt compelled to leave a comment. regarding the cross contamination issue, its really nice to hear that the workers went out of their way to change gloves and do their best to eliminate any issues, but the biggest issue is the trays themselves, they sit on our shelves in a kitchen where we make dough fresh everyday and inevitably get gluten on them. so having the workers change their gloves and watching them really closely is unfortunately not going to guarantee 100% gluten free. hopefully this will help out any ‘celiac families’ considering trying our product from getting sick. all that aside, i have no sensitivity to gluten but have tried the pizzas and i think they are really good, i even get one for myself sometimes!

12

Yesterday we ordered a GF pizza from Oregon City’s Papa Murpheys. After 2 delicious pieces I thought it was just too good to be true. Well, it WAS too good to be true. We ordered GF, paid for GF, but were given a regular crust. We realized that after calling and checking. Sure enough – I was sick at night and for most of the day. When I talked to the manager, he very cheerfully said that mistakes happen, and just come back for a new one. Obviously there is NO concept that gluten can make some people really, really sick.

13

Karen — Oh, how awful!! Nothing cheerful about that mistake. I hope you’re feeling better soon.

14

When they run specials and promos like on Wednesday 50% off, you must pre-order your pizza online. Well the problem is that the GLUTEN-FREE pizza option is not even on their website to select it so you therefore cannot participate in their promos. I think this is super crappy and discriminatory. Seems gluten-free people always seem to get screwed.

15

To all celiacs,their pizza is absolutely not gluten-free

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