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StLouisKirsten

Watch Out For Starbucks

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I'm a former District Manage for Starbucks & I wanted to warn everyone about a new gluten cross-contamination danger in any steamed beverage. Any steamed drink you get now is potentially cross contaminated from the protein powder used in lattes, which are produced on shared equipment as wheat containing ingredients. This is also the case with frozen beverages since they rolled out the new Vivanno Nourishing blends. Protein powder is the main ingredient in this drink, and they are not prepared with special pitchers. Since the pitchers are only briefly rinsed after each drink is prepared, every frozen beverage can be cross-contaminated. To avoid this, don't get a frapp that has vanilla bean powder, mocha chips, or protein powder, and ask the barista to get a new sanitized pitcher from the back.

Unfortunately, I haven't been able to avoid getting sick from steamed drinks since the Protein Latte rollout unless the barista assures me that there haven't been any protein powder lattes made that morning. I have tried to ask them to blow out the steam wand for 20 seconds, and wipe it off using a fresh sanitized wiping towel, but because the protein powder is so thick, it has still made me sick.

Another possible reason is the syrups. I just recently found out that some coloring and flavors of syrup may contain gluten. I have an email out to my contacts at Starbucks to try and find out the answer to this question. Does anybody know of gluten dangers here? :(

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Doesn't Starbucks use the Torani syrups? I'm pretty sure those are gluten free, although I have not checked directly with the company myself.......that stinks about the protein powder.

Do they really not wash, rinse and sanitize each pitcher after use? Only rinsing? Ewww.

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Doesn't Starbucks use the Torani syrups? I'm pretty sure those are gluten free, although I have not checked directly with the company myself.......that stinks about the protein powder.

Do they really not wash, rinse and sanitize each pitcher after use? Only rinsing? Ewww.

Unfortunately Starbucks has their own brand of syrups, many of which contain caramel coloring. I think all the brown ones do. As for the pitchers, let me clarify that they are should be washed and sanitized every hour, but the reality is that doesn't always happen. Even if it does, all it takes is one drink to make you sick. I just found out tonight that the new premium hot chocolates are made with cocoa powder also produced on shared equipment. I'm sooo pissed, because this is completely unnecessary! I LOVE the company, socially conscious, employee centered and all, but Wheat is one of the 6 most common allergens. Surely Starbucks can pick a manufacturer that had dedicated equipment. I have shared my thoughts with them, but nothing will happen unless we all band together to make our voices heard. In a world where so much is off limits to us, don't we deserve to at least have a latte with peace of mind that we won't get sick a few hours later? If you agree, please let them know at 1-800-23-LATTE. Thanks! :angry:

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I'm just getting used to the whole idea of cross-contamination :(

Friday I ate at Qdoba's... I even checked their tortilla soup mix in advance to make sure it didn't have gluten! And then I went to Starbucks and had a hot chocolate with soy milk and hazelnut syrup. Ugh. The constipation is back and today I have a headache.

Since you've been a barista, can you tell me what drinks should be safe? Thanks goodness I'm not addicted to coffee, but I do like a nice chai or hot chocolate once in a while. :P

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I go to Starbucks quite often and always have the Tazo Awake Tea. I ask the barista to give me the teabag still in the package, and never have a problem.

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First off, welcome to the forum Kirsten,

Ok, there's a lot of info in this post. Let's try and separate the potential cross contamination issue with the new protein lattes from the possible syrups issue. Also, the vanilla bean powder and mocha chips. I take it that as a former district manager you drank a lot of Starbucks products and never got sick until they introduced the protein lattes. Did you ever get sick after ingesting the syrups, vanilla bean powder or mocha chips before this?

best regards, lm

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Oh well, as yummy as they are, a $4 latte that's loaded with sugar and caffeine is probably not the best idea for my wallet or waistline :) I have friends with starbucks addictions that spend hundreds of dollars a year on their coffee :o it's always been a special treat for me, but eh, it's ok

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From what I understand the protein powder does not contain gluten ingredients, but it is made in a shared facility (as with the vanilla powder). So what we are talking about here is potential cross contamination from a product that may have been potentially cross contaminated. :blink: I don't think that I will worry too much about that unless my son starts having reactions from his pepermint hot chocolates. I do worry about the malt in the frapp chips, so in the rare occasions that I let him get a strawberries and creme frapp, I always make sure they use a clean pitcher. Unless you do all of your shopping at Whole Foods or eat all natural foods, it is likely that you eat foods that are made on shared lines. In this case, it really is trial and error.

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I had a mocha latte Saturday. Not a problem for me. I've become pretty sensitive to gluten so I think I'd of known if there was cross contamination. Starbucks is a once in a while thing, and I had a free $5 Starbucks card so I treated myself. It's lovely eating or drinking something that I didn't have to make.

From what I understand the protein powder does not contain gluten ingredients, but it is made in a shared facility (as with the vanilla powder). So what we are talking about here is potential cross contamination from a product that may have been potentially cross contaminated. :blink: I don't think that I will worry too much about that unless my son starts having reactions from his pepermint hot chocolates. I do worry about the malt in the frapp chips, so in the rare occasions that I let him get a strawberries and creme frapp, I always make sure they use a clean pitcher. Unless you do all of your shopping at Whole Foods or eat all natural foods, it is likely that you eat foods that are made on shared lines. In this case, it really is trial and error.

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I'm willing to admit to my Starbucks addiction... I go there all the time and usually get a vanilla latte with soy milk. I'm very sensitive to gluten and have not noticed any celiac symptoms since they introduced the protein to their menu. B)

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Ugh, I just avoid Starbucks, anyway. I'm not a huge fan of their coffee to begin with, and thankfully where I live there are loads of local shops that have much higher quality coffee at lower prices, not to mention locally baked gluten-free pastries.

The one thing I'll say for Starbucks is this: when I was visiting London last March, my boyfriend found gluten free brownies! I can't say for sure whether I got sick off of them or not, as otherwise I found it incredibly difficult to find gluten-free foods there, but the concept was mind blowing for me. When I got back to the States I went into a Starbucks to ask if they had the gluten-free brownies, and they looked at me like I had three heads. Who needs that?

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