Toronto pizza joint takes heat for removing gluten-free oven
A Toronto pizzeria known for providing delicious pizza, both regular and gluten-free, just announced plans to get rid of its gluten-free oven and customers certainly aren't happy.
Pizzeria Libretto offers gluten-free pizza crust at all of its Toronto locations, but the pizza joint's King St. location also has a dedicated gluten-free oven for those with celiac disease who can't risk contamination.
In an Instagram post published yesterday, the restaurant announced plans to stop offering the dedicated oven as of January 1 because of their inability to provide a celiac-safe environment without a "completely dedicated gluten-free kitchen."
"We know how important dietary requirements are to our guests - that's why we offer vegan & gluten-free options throughout our menu," they wrote.
"We also worked hard to offer a celiac-safe environment at our King St. location, but we realize we can't safely and securely do so unless we have a completely dedicated gluten-free kitchen. As a result, starting on January 1st, we can no longer dedicate an oven to celiac & gluten-free, as it suggests a level of food allergy safety for celiac guests that we cannot 100% guarantee."
We know how important dietary requirements are to our guests - that's why we offer vegan & gluten free options throughout our menu. We also worked hard to offer a celiac safe environment at our King St. location, but we realize we can't safely and securely do so unless we have a completely dedicated gluten-free kitchen. As a result, starting on January 1st, we can no longer dedicate an oven to celiac & gluten-free, as it suggests a level of food allergy safety for Celiac guests that we cannot 100% guarantee. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause but the well being of our guests is our utmost priority! We will of course continue to offer gluten-free crust in our regular ovens at all our locations. #PizzeriaLibretto
The announcement is particularly upsetting to customers with celiac disease who frequent the restaurant, as dedicated gluten-free ovens are few and far between throughout the city.
Many disappointed customers have since commented on the Instagram post urging the restaurant to reverse their decision.
"Is it not better to keep the oven the way it is, with the warning that it can’t be guaranteed, rather then simply abandon the idea?" one user wrote. "This will mean patrons will never come to your restaurant again."
"This is a HUGE disappointment for me," another wrote.
"This was the best gluten-free pizza in Toronto by far; I came here for birthdays, anniversaries... as someone with celiac, options that don’t taste like cardboard, that I can go to with 'normal' people, are so hard to come by. Please reconsider."
Many Instagram users are saying Libretto's gluten-free pizza is their favourite in the city and ditching the oven is simply not the way to go if their goal is to please customers.
"You guys have always had the best GF pizza in the city, please don't shut it down," one user wrote.
"We get that you cant guarantee anything but just make sure to put a disclaimer for cross-contamination. I've eaten here probably almost 2 dozen times at this point and I've NEVER had issues with your GF pizza. Getting rid of the oven is not the way to go about this."
Since posting the announcement yesterday and receiving an influx of disappointed comments, Pizzeria Libretto addressed the many concerns on their Instagram story earlier today.
"We have received an overwhelming response regarding no longer being able to offer a celiac-dedicated oven at our King St. location," their story states. "We'd like to address your concerns because we hear you!"
The stories go on to explain their reasoning for ditching the GF oven, once again stating that without a gluten-free kitchen they no longer feel comfortable attempting to provide a celiac-safe environment.
"We will continue to offer gluten-free crust as well as well as other celiac-friendly options on our menu as alternatives and hope to host you again sometime in the future," they wrote.
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