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Starbucks Coffee Syrups And Soy Milk?

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I wrote this to Starbucks: 
Hello, I am writing in regards to the gluten free status of your espresso drinks and your soy milk. Which of the syrups (vanilla, caramel etc) are gluten free and is the soy milk you use gluten free? Or better yet, what all in your stores besides the baked goods (obviously contain gluten) contain gluten? so I can stay away from those items. I understand that there is risk of cross contamination. I just want to know what I could order at your stores that could be safe, if I just let the barista know about my condition. Thank you!


and this was the reply I received: 

Dear Kayla,


I just finished reading your email and appreciate you taking the time to share your concerns with us.


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.


While we understand that some customers may have a need to know specific ingredient information prior to consuming a product, unfortunately we are unable to provide more in-depth information than what is currently available in the ingredient statement. If there are concerns about this product possibly containing an ingredient that you do not wish to consume, we would recommend that product not be consumed.


Starbucks take the disclosure of allergens very seriously. Even though gluten does not appear on FDA's list of allergens, we make every effort to declare gluten along with the other 8 FDA-identified food allergens whenever there is potential for its inclusion in a product.

We require each of our suppliers to have an effective allergen control program and alert us to allergens present in products or potential cross contamination issues. The labeling on our packaged products and drink components indicate both allergens present or potentially included due to cross contamination. Allergen information for pastry products can be found on our website.

Due to potential cross contamination within our pastry case, we suggest that sensitive consumers choose a packaged food product.


SB Flavored Coffee - SB flavored coffees are not made with wheat gluten, but contain a corn syrup.



If you ever have any questions or concerns in the future, please don't hesitate to get in touch.




Cookie M.

customer service

Are not all their Vanilla syrups, Caramel Syrups, Soy milk the same at every store??? So Why can't they answer all my questions? Am I wrong to be frustrated here?? I just don't see how some of the coffees could be contaminated if I don't get any toppings and I just stick to the syrup, coffee and soy milk (if they are gluten free) I usually get a regular brewed coffee but I have been wanting to try out a soy milk latte or something with vanilla. Is the soy milk they use okay? anyone have experience with any of the syrups, or soy milk? Or just your experiences with starbucks in general I would love to hear about it. 
Also I know they now carry Teavana tea, and they have shaken iced teas and what not made with Teavana Teas. I know Teavana's products are mostly or all gluten free, so would it make sense that those drinks are gluten free too ? or am I missing something?? 
Thanks in advance for your help. 
I just want to be able to order something from there other than brewed plain old coffee. And I think it's a little ridiculous they can't answer my question fully. I don't feel like a soy vanilla latte should be cross contaminated. I feel like I can't have anything anywhere. I at least want a coffee once in a while.

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Celiac.com Sponsor (A8):

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I go to Starbucks regularly.


 This seems to be a big CYA statement on the cc issue.   There are gluten things in a Starbucks and they have chosen to do no training for gluten cc, etc.  Many companies see the statement of "gluten free" as a big legal issue.



Most Starbucks will let you read the ingredients on the flavor bottle. The problem is that the flavoring company could change the formula at anytime.  Some Starbucks could still have the older formula and some the newer. There are seasonal flavors they would have to update you on, etc.   Starbucks is not monitoring that.


Being a restaurant that guarantees gluten-free is very hard.  You have to constantly check that the ingredients you buy are still gluten-free  and haven't changed.  It isn't all about cc.


Edit:  You can certainly ask to see the soy milk or what brand it is.  Another issue is that, if they run out of soy milk - might they be able to run to Whole Foods and buy some to hold them over until they get a shipment?  That would effect a gluten-free claim by Starbucks, too.  Some stores are run by the store they are in - Target, for example.  They seem to use the store brand cow milk at ours.



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Unfortunately, I just order plain coffee now -- straight from the pot into a clean cup. I have them add soy milk but always ask to see the soy milk carton first. Sometimes, I pack in my own soy milk in my cute cooler "purse."

I make nicer coffee blends at home and take them to go in my thermal mugs. I feel safe and save money!

I understand your frustration about not going out. I suppose I had an easier transition because my husband had been gluten free for a decade before my diagnosis. But I was very motivated in the beginning (1-1/2 years) because of fractures and anemia. Now, I like feeling well!

You need to gain weight and feel better. Why take any unnecessary risks at this point?

This is a great place to vent, but sometimes we all need to be reminded to put on our big girl panties. We need to get on with our lives and be thankful that there is a "kind of a cure" for this disease.

Non-functioning Gall bladder Removal Surgery 2005

Diagnosed via Blood Test and Endoscopy: March 2013

Hashimoto's Thyroiditis -- Stable 2014

Anemia -- Resolved

Fractures (vertebrae): June 2013

Osteopenia/osteoporosis -- June 2013

Allergies and Food Intolerances

Diabetes -- January 2014

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

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I do what cyclinglady does...plain coffee...or bring my own. I blend it in my nutribullet at home and it's lovely, frothy drink. It was hard over the holidays at times seeing the salted caramel and peppermint mochas. I wasn't tempted in any way...but had this longing for the yummy treats and the normalcy of being able to get whatever I want. Give yourself a chance to vent, grieve for what you've lost and then keep moving forward in your new healthy life!

January 2014-Celiac

August 2014- Hashimoto's

"You never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice."

Bob Marley

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