Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Another ZPizza Update

Here's the e-mail response I received from the owner of ZPizza in Billings, it's refreshing to read.

Hi Cindy ! I would like to introduce myself to you. I am the Owner/GM of ZPIZZA-Billings. I just received an email from the corporate office that you believe you were glutened at our store. I would like to extend my sincere apologies. I, first off, would like to tell you that we take celiac disease extremely serious at ZPIZZA. When we first introduced gluten-free and I was preparing a class to teach my staff, I tried to think how I could get it across to them how important it is to not skip steps and follow each one. I came up with treat the pizza as if you were preparing it for one of your family members who is gluten-intolerant. I would, however, like to clear up some points in your email. The gluten-free pizzas are prepared in the back of the kitchen in its own designated area with ingrediants prepared and stored in particular containers. This area has everything in red as the color that denotes gluten-free only items. This includes storage container lids, a pizza cutter, a cutting board, spatula, even the oven mitt. Yes, we do use the same oven to cook gluten-free and regular pizzas. However, we use an oversized pan that is similiar to a deep dish pizza pan. It is solid (not a screen) and has 2" raised sides on it. These are used only for gluten-free pizzas. Yes, the same pizza peel is used but, it never touches the pizza because the pan is solid. The pizza is then taken in the back where an employee puts the pan on the steel shelf (never on cutting board since gluten may have cross contaminated to the bottom of pan during cooking). The pizza is taken out of the pan, placed on the "red" cutting board, and then cut with a traditional pizza cutter with a red handle. A guest would not see this procedure because it is done in the back of the house. What you saw upfront is not where we prepare, cut, or box/plate gluten-free pizza. What you saw is how we cut regular pizzas. Even the boxes and liner paper are specifically picked from certain areas. When you dine in we handwash the pizza plate, knife, and fork. I am by no means dodging blame that cross contamination happened. I would love to discuss this further if you would like. I would even be happy to show you the back where your pizza was prepared. I can understand your hesitation with dining with us again but, I can assure you we have sold hundred of gluten-free pizzas and even have people order every other day. I would love you to try us again and let us make it right with you.

So after reading this I'm not sure how we got glutened. Maybe it was from things being busy and something got accidentally used? Who knows, but I will go back to ZPizza again because for one the pizza is delicious and second this e-mail convinced me that they really do work to prevent cross contamination. If you have any concerns I'm sure Denise would be more than happy to talk with you. Yippee for still being able to have GF pizza in Billings.

Also a second ZPizza location is opening in downtown Billings, I don't know where or when yet.

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