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Starbucks Update
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Hi all, just thought I would share what I learned today - I called the Starbucks Customer Help line to see about a caramel macchiato, and the rep told me that the only thing that can be guaranteed as gluten free is the wrapped Tazo tea bags. The macchiato, unfortunately, is not gluten-free. The caramel sauce they use as a topping has gluten in it. They wouldn't even classify their regular drip coffees as gluten free because of cross-contamination.

It's a real bummer, because a) it is an unseasonably warm day here in Chicago and a cold, delightful drink would have been welcome, and B) I was going off of old information, so I got about halfway into it before calling the number. Sad face.

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Hi all, just thought I would share what I learned today - I called the Starbucks Customer Help line to see about a caramel macchiato, and the rep told me that the only thing that can be guaranteed as gluten free is the wrapped Tazo tea bags. The macchiato, unfortunately, is not gluten-free. The caramel sauce they use as a topping has gluten in it. They wouldn't even classify their regular drip coffees as gluten free because of cross-contamination.

It's a real bummer, because a) it is an unseasonably warm day here in Chicago and a cold, delightful drink would have been welcome, and B) I was going off of old information, so I got about halfway into it before calling the number. Sad face.

Alissa.....that is just a CYA statement from Starbuck's. There are plenty of cold drinks that you can safely have there and are gluten free. Ice coffee, the unflavored ice tea's, their shaken lemonade/ice tea (with black or plain green tea) are all gluten-free. That would be the one made at the counter, not the bottled lemonade/ice tea drink. If you tell the server your allergy information, then the likelihood of CC happening is pretty low to nil. I don't know what's in a macchiato but maybe leave the caramel off the top? Their syrups are gluten-free also....just loaded with sugar!

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I figured they were just trying to cover themselves from any potential liability. But the bigger issue I have with them is how the information varies depending on what customer service rep. you talk to. Not long ago, I was told their caramel was safe. Now it's not? I think I may be safe with straight-up iced beverages, but man, will I miss their flavored stuff. Guess it's just one more thing to go on the "no" list.

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Some of the Tazo tea flavors are not gluten free.

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Here's a discussion about Tazo teas at Starbucks:

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Ahhh, that is no good. I love the caramel macchiatos :( I drink them a lot without my normal gluten symptoms. Now this makes me wonder if some weird stuff that has been going on is because of my getting more hidden gluten. :/

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I recently called Starbucks and the rep read me the ingredients on the caramel - lots of sugar, butter and milk but I didn't hear anything that indicated gluten. I may be way off - I'm still learning. I love the caramel macchiatos but alas, can't have them right now because of the dairy in the caramel.

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Some of the Tazo tea flavors are not gluten free.

Yup, that is correct but it's no different than any other tea out there. The herbal flavored and some of the green flavored tea's are not but the black tea is OK. If you do your research, this information is readily available. I always ask for Starbucks ingredients listings and never had a problem getting that info from them. I go to Starbucks at least 2-3 times per week and never had a problem.

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I go to Starbucks at least 2-3 times per week and never had a problem.

I do too--always have an Awake Tea Latte. There are a couple of teas there that contain gluten, but I've always had good luck calling them for any info.

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I just had a caramel macchiato last night with no bad effects. I've read the ingredients before and didn't see a red flag. I wonder if it's just a cya thing.

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Interesting bc I had an iced one yesterday and appeared to be about 5 months pregnant about 15 min after drinking it, and then had awful gas 👎

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Here's a discussion about Tazo teas at Starbucks:

This information is to years old. Not reliable.

richard

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From what I can see, Starbucks will not GUARANTEE that anything in the store is free of any allergen. Very paranoid.

I would just use common sense.

richard

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I get their hot chocolate with whipped cream all the time. I have never had a problem with it in the last almost three years (since my diagnosis) (well, unless it is not hot enough for me because I forget to ask for it extra hot :P )

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I have had Starbucks caramel frappes without any major issue...I did notice slight stomachache but that was also when I was lactose intolerant. No troubles since. I also drink their Caffe Mochas, which have never given me problems.

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I frequently have their mocha frappucinos (one of my few vices). And I've never had any problem with them. I just ask them to do a good rinse of the blender before they make mine so there are none of those "chips" left in there (forget which drink it is that has those chips in them ...)

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Yup, that is correct but it's no different than any other tea out there. The herbal flavored and some of the green flavored tea's are not but the black tea is OK. If you do your research, this information is readily available. I always ask for Starbucks ingredients listings and never had a problem getting that info from them. I go to Starbucks at least 2-3 times per week and never had a problem.

I realize you think it is your "duty" or "job" here to always defend vendors, but contrary to your insult, I do "do your research" before bothering to comment.

The original poster posted incorrect information if taken at face value - that Starbucks served Tazo Tea that was "safe" in the wrapped teabag packages, and therefore "gluten free." This is not completely correct and could easily be mistaken as to all Tazo teas at Starbucks being gluten free, when they are not.

I would normally have ignored you, but then there's another mod chirping in that the discussion link on Tazo tea is old. Well, yes, but this shows that the Tazo website has a link.

I have been glutened more than once at Starbucks by tea or tea mix products, at different stores, and narrowly avoided another incidence when the clerk gave me the wrong item in the cup and I caught it by a sniff test before sipping. I have been unable to resolve with Starbucks the ingredient that was "getting" me, inspite of studying labels on the containers that were used, so I avoid most items at that store. This isn't rocket science. They aren't trying to avoid gluten, they're selling caffeine and sugar and flavorings. They're popular enough they aren't going to miss my not ordering a mixed flavored beverage. I am doing them a favor, actually, because then I don't have the reactions and I don't have to complain that I got sick from their products.

As I have said before, some of us get migraines or neurological symptoms when glutened, which subsequently make it more difficult to perform functions like driving, so caution should be used when ordering items in a restaurant or fast food setting serving fancy mixed drinks with mixed gluten and non gluten bearing ingredients, especially in a fast paced high volume store which does not thoroughly wash everything between mixings, if one has to be able to function afterwards.

You may be fine with hot water, plain coffee, or a tea bag which was confirmed to be one of the gluten free flavors. But the risk of cross contamination is there, just as with any restaurant using vendors who are not sourcing and testing for gluten in their entire ingredient list.

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I realize you think it is your "duty" or "job" here to always defend vendors, but contrary to your insult, I do "do your research" before bothering to comment.

The original poster posted incorrect information if taken at face value - that Starbucks served Tazo Tea that was "safe" in the wrapped teabag packages, and therefore "gluten free." This is not completely correct and could easily be mistaken as to all Tazo teas at Starbucks being gluten free, when they are not.

I would normally have ignored you, but then there's another mod chirping in that the discussion link on Tazo tea is old. Well, yes, but this shows that the Tazo website has a link.

I have been glutened more than once at Starbucks by tea or tea mix products, at different stores, and narrowly avoided another incidence when the clerk gave me the wrong item in the cup and I caught it by a sniff test before sipping. I have been unable to resolve with Starbucks the ingredient that was "getting" me, inspite of studying labels on the containers that were used, so I avoid most items at that store. This isn't rocket science. They aren't trying to avoid gluten, they're selling caffeine and sugar and flavorings. They're popular enough they aren't going to miss my not ordering a mixed flavored beverage. I am doing them a favor, actually, because then I don't have the reactions and I don't have to complain that I got sick from their products.

As I have said before, some of us get migraines or neurological symptoms when glutened, which subsequently make it more difficult to perform functions like driving, so caution should be used when ordering items in a restaurant or fast food setting serving fancy mixed drinks with mixed gluten and non gluten bearing ingredients, especially in a fast paced high volume store which does not thoroughly wash everything between mixings, if one has to be able to function afterwards.

You may be fine with hot water, plain coffee, or a tea bag which was confirmed to be one of the gluten free flavors. But the risk of cross contamination is there, just as with any restaurant using vendors who are not sourcing and testing for gluten in their entire ingredient list.

Takala...you need to lighten up and not take yourself so seriously! Do you always become so highly insulted over basic information?

As far as what you think "my job" is here, let me correct your incorrect statements. I defend reputable companies from malicious Celiac rumors that perpetrate nonsense they are not safe. News flash....the world is not completely safe but if you continue to make a big deal out of everything, then you'll never get on with life. What someone says on an internet site may or may not be true but it's up to each and every Celiac to read labels to discern what is safe for them. After doing this for 7 years, I know what I can do safely and when someone posts that Starbucks will not guarantee their drinks free from contamination, I have to make a few points in the hopes that they will understand things better so they can go back and enjoy a drink without fear of getting sick. However, the store is only as good as it's employee's, as you have obviously found out.

As for your symptoms, been there, done that. If you are trying to imply that your reactions leave you more debilitated than most, let me assure you that when I do, on the rare occasion sustain a hit, I suffer from neuro issues also. I just don't act like the world is out to kill me. It's frustrating when they occur, but I let it go and pick up and move on. You have to be wary of CC but it's entirely possible to enjoy a blended drink without getting sick. If you feel the risk is too high for you, for whatever reason, then don't go there but don't try to instill irrational fear in others who are learning the ropes.

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I work at a starbucks and I cant say I know anything fro sure because it is hard to find out, but when I go in for work I will read the labels on some things and try and report back :P

But I will say, I have had the frappachinos and caramel sauce and unfortunately I have felt pretty sick after having them and I get a reaction to them. :(

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I'm not sure what the update is here? The last few years every time someone contacts Starbucks this is exactly the reply you get (well, minus the tea debate). Starbucks has not and will not say any of their drink items are gluten free. Even if you ask about their plain black coffee or a cup of milk - they'll tell you there is a risk of cross contamination.

I just hope Starbucks learns that most Celiacs understand the risk involved, and knowing if where gluten is obviously included would be helpful. I don't order the drinks I know have gluten - and the others I am willing to take the risk on. I think most would feel the same. Taking a tiny risk on the Starbucks drinks I love dearly is worth it to me... I just wish they'd say which items definitely contained gluten.

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And last I had heard/checked - the caramel was gluten free (ask to read their packaging if you're not sure, most will let you.) They specifically told you the caramel was included gluten - or just that they can't guarantee it being gluten free? I've had caramel macchiatos after doing my homework more than once and have not gotten sick when I am typically fairly sensitive - maybe I've lucked out over Starbucks drinks but normally I'm pretty easily glutened.

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Does anyone know if the Chai Tea Latte with soy milk would be safe? TYIA! - I'm having the hardest time finding reliable info...

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Does anyone know if the Chai Tea Latte with soy milk would be safe? TYIA! - I'm having the hardest time finding reliable info...

Yes, gluten wise it's safe.

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I received this from Starbucks yesterday when asking whether or not their hot chocolate was Gluten Free:

"Starbucks is unable to guarantee a "gluten-free" environment in our retail locations due to the potential for cross contamination with gluten-containing products. The open environment and operating procedures of our store locations may present additional risk for gluten-sensitive customers aside from the gluten-containing ingredients themselves. "Gluten-free" is a claim with specific requirements defined by government agencies and industry standards. We are unable to make this claim on a product unless the item is specifically formulated and manufactured to meet the definition of the claim."

I inquired if this also applied to a cup of blonde roast without any flavor and they told me "our previous statement applies." Yes, this may be a CYA statement, but to me it is not good enough. I have stopped going to Starbucks.

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