Gluten Free Guerrillas

After all the recent publicity has anyone else been glutened at Pizza Express or was I just plain unlucky???

after all the hype and publicity we tried the Ashford branch of Pizza Express, they were very attentive, I ordered gf pizza and a gf beer, everything seemed ok until we left and shortly afterwards I realised I had been glutened.

I have been in touch with Pizza Express via their web site and so far no one has even acknowledged my message.

Now after all the publicity and the three years in making sure that staff are trained, I am just unsure as to what went wrong, during the wait for the meal I noticed that the chef spread the tomato base from a large bowl with a ladle, didn't see mine being prepared but I wondered if this could be the cause or the fact that he used ungloved hands to put all the ingredients onto the top of all the pizzas I saw being made. My partner ordered a calzone and both our pizzas were served on the black plates, when I queried this I was told 'they are washed you know'.

took a few days to start to feel normal again, don't think I will be risking that again for a long time

12 Replies

I too was glutened after eating at PE. I won't be going back either. They seemed to understand the importance of cross contamination but, as they say, the proof of the pudding (pizza) is in the eating!


Are you sure it wasn't the gf beer? They all contain deglutanised barley. They give me a migraine


A few days to recover! How lucky you are. It takes me about 6 weeks to recover!


From another thread: "The Barley based beers are technically Gluten Free, but they have hordeins, which function similar to gluten based gliadins, causing a response in Gluten sensitive or Celiacs." quoted from site.



I have had 2 pizzas now at PE, no problem at all. Maybe it's sadly the luck of the draw as to which one you go to? I had a different plate from my friends, and I wasn't given a pizza wheel cutter unlike everyone else.


Sorry to hear about your experience. I have been to the pizza express in earls court road many times and pleased to say never had a reaction. Maybe it was the beer as I have never found one that suits me. I also tried spaghetti house gf pasta this weekend and was fine too. Good luck.


Hi makzine, I too was glutened at Pizza Express (in Edinburgh) - I had a pizza with sparkling water. I wondered if they used xanthan gum in their bases because that make me react. It was very quiet at the particular restaurant we were at, I was served with the black base, my husband had a gluten-full pizza which came on a different coloured base. I have Dermatitis Herpetiformis and my itching starts within 10-15 minutes of ingesting something and I got it as we were waiting to pay our bill. So I had good 'service' from the waiter who was very attentive when I ordered and was clear about what my gf options were.

I have had gf pasta options at other Italian restaurants and never been glutened (or at least not had a reaction).

Let us know if you get a response to your email to PE. I'm finding, as time goes by, that when I'm out I only go for non-processed gluten free options because so many processed items have something in them that I react to.

Thanks for sharing - there had been such an overwhelming positive feedback to the PE 'gluten free' pizza that I felt intimidated to respond to say I'd had a definite DH reaction (itching, which lasts for hours, then small blisters which last for weeks, and the lovely stomach issues...).


I've been a couple of times so far and no glutening. I'm quite sensitive, so would definitely know if I had been.

The first time I went my food was delayed. They came and apologized and said that they had to throw out the first pizza as it was contaminated with a utensil that had been previously used for a non GF pizza. They also gave us a free dessert for the trouble. Was quite impressed that they came and admitted this and then made a new pizza for me rather than just hoping that I wouldn't notice!


I have been trying in vain to find out if they use Codex wheat starch at Pizza Express and after six weeks still no answer. I was directed to their website which didn't help so used the contact form and no response, rang local restaurant they don't have full list of ingredients, rang Head Office was promised an e-mail and none came, rang Coeliac Uk and they gave me another phone number and was again promised a reply two weeks ago, still no answer. Feel like I am trying to find out a state secret!!

Would love to try it, but can't tolerate Codex and don't feel like paying their prices, just to be ill. They couldn't even tell me whether the vinegar in the coleslaw is malt or spirit as i have a problem with malt too.

I wonder whether to even try and find out if Pizza Hut or Ask use Codex


I've eaten at 2 different PE and no reaction - served on black slate plate/tray.


I've had 5 pizzas (shocking amount since start of April!)

I did feel glutened after the last time, this time I had a beer. I know the Green's beer has done this to me before, so I won't have another of these, but I will go back for more pizza. (Not too soon though, six would be overkill).


My daughter was on a School trip in London, phoned ahead. Her waitress was Coeliac and oversaw her pizza. That was all she ate, but she was violently ill at the Theatre afterwards and everything else that day had been provided by me and was definitely GF. PE were sympathetic and said definitely not them - but def was.


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