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Starbucks... How Could You Treat Me This Way?

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I sent an email to Starbucks regarding their vanilla powder. Last I was there I asked the barista if it contained gluten and he was nice enough to read the ingredients off to me; none of which sounded like gluten. Looking online I saw some posts to the contrary, so I emailed Starbucks. I gotta say this was not the answer I was expecting...

"Starbucks does not add any gluten to their products, however we can not guarantee ANY of our products are gluten free due to possible cross contamination at the location where the product was manufactured. If you have any allergies to gluten, we recommend you refrain from consuming our products"

This is not very encouraging to me as a newly diagnosed celiac. I realize they are CYA but did they really just tell me not to come back? REALLY? Isn't there some sort of anti discrimination law against that? And they never did answer my question about the vanilla powder.

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I think they did answer your question about their vanilla powder...they are saying that they cannot guarantee ANY of our products are gluten free due to possible cross contamination at the location where the product was manufactured. If you have any allergies to gluten, we recommend you refrain from consuming our products.

Unfortunately a lot of companies are doing this, probably at the advice of their legal depts. It's a bummer, yeah, but at least they were truthful.

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If you call Starbucks, they will tell you about the gluten status of individual products. I have found them very helpful in that regard.

The last I knew, the vanilla powder was not gluten-free, nor are the mocha chips or the salted caramel hot chocolate. (not a complete list--just off the top of my head.)

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i think they're just being extra careful legally. i think it's a new thing too. last year they were more into guaranteeing me that some products were safe- while others were not. i do also avoid the vanilla powder, which sucks- cause i LOVE vanilla... oh no WAIT- vanilla powder in the fraps? or the vanilla shaker on the condiment table?

i wanna say the vanilla powder for the fraps are gluten free- but please dont go on my memory. it seems to me- last year i checked on that and the matcha- because i would make a combo drink...

but i will say- that i havent had that in months- i DO go there almost everyday- and just to be on the safe side- i only get a mocha late. i dont even think there's HFCS in the mocha (the fructose also kills me). and im fine. and ive become hugely sensitive since going gluten free- even those Blue Diamond Pecan Nut thins at <20ppm make me a little itchy... and the mochas have been okay for me. no fraps, no chips, just mocha/espresso/milk/w.c.

i guess, swim at your own risk.

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I sent an email to Starbucks regarding their vanilla powder. Last I was there I asked the barista if it contained gluten and he was nice enough to read the ingredients off to me; none of which sounded like gluten. Looking online I saw some posts to the contrary, so I emailed Starbucks. I gotta say this was not the answer I was expecting...

"Starbucks does not add any gluten to their products, however we can not guarantee ANY of our products are gluten free due to possible cross contamination at the location where the product was manufactured. If you have any allergies to gluten, we recommend you refrain from consuming our products"

This is not very encouraging to me as a newly diagnosed celiac. I realize they are CYA but did they really just tell me not to come back? REALLY? Isn't there some sort of anti discrimination law against that? And they never did answer my question about the vanilla powder.

I go to Starbucks often but only ever order one thing....Soy Chai Latte. Those can easily be made with no CC issues but I never order anything else because I don't want to take a hit PLUS their blended drinks are so high in fat and calories, I don't think they are very healthy. I have never been glutened by a Starbucks drink.

Starbucks has taken a different tack on serving guaranteed gluten-free food and drinks because of the American mentality of suing over nothing. I don't blame them, either. It's different in Europe, where there are different laws which protect businesses against frivolous lawsuits. That does not mean you cannot order a drink there without getting sick. Just let them know when ordering and they will work with you to insure a safe drink but it is up to you to know what might be a risk. Celiacs must take responsibility for their own health.

And, no, their attitude is not discrimination at all. They are just being honest.

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Stick with plain, drip coffee. I don't trust Starbucks with anything else.

Did you know that their gluten-free cookies that they now carry contain OATS?

OATS=The most likely cc'd grain there is.

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Stick with plain, drip coffee. I don't trust Starbucks with anything else.

Did you know that their gluten-free cookies that they now carry contain OATS?

OATS=The most likely cc'd grain there is.

My kids drink the hot cocoa frequently with no issues. If the cookies are the Lucy brand, they are certified gluten-free oats. They just don't taste very good ;)

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My kids drink the hot cocoa frequently with no issues. If the cookies are the Lucy brand, they are certified gluten-free oats. They just don't taste very good ;)

lol... ya, they dont look like they taste very good

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I get the no guarantee thing, but maybe they could word it as "no gluten products used in production". I emailed the customer service back and they sent me the ingrediants. SUGAR, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, VANILLA BEAN PIECES. I just wanted to know if gluten products are used to produce the "natural & artifical flavor" part. I really do love that powder.

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I always heard the vanilla shaker thing was off limits so I don't use it. Not sure though. I do go to Starbucks minimum once a week and never have problems with hot drinks. I don't do fraps though. They get me everytime!

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I get the no guarantee thing, but maybe they could word it as "no gluten products used in production". I emailed the customer service back and they sent me the ingrediants. SUGAR, NATURAL & ARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, VANILLA BEAN PIECES. I just wanted to know if gluten products are used to produce the "natural & artifical flavor" part. I really do love that powder.

To make things easier.....the above listed ingredients most likely do not contain gluten. You do not have to worry about artificial ingredients because they are, well, artificial, as in not "real" food. You would have to have real food in there for the offending protein to be present for you to have a reaction. You do not have to worry about artificial ingredients at all.

The small worry with natural flavorings is the possible addition of barley/ barley malt as an ingredient. Many companies will list it as an ingredient, although not required to do so by law because it's barley, not wheat. To date, and I have been doing this for 6 years now, I have never become sick from any listed natural flavoring. Unless there is a clear listing of an offending ingredient in natural flavors, I do not worry about it. If what you are looking at to ingest is listed as any kind of malt flavoring, that would be the exception and I wouldn't touch it but something which is vanilla flavored most likely would never contain anything that would make you sick. I would refrain from using anything at Starbucks that was out for general use by the public and it's not really just the CC I would be worried about....it's flu season.

Do they sell any of the powder that you could buy so CC would not be any worry? I know they sell some of their liquid flavors for coffee and many of those, if not all, are gluten-free. It's sugar water and nothing else. I would venture to guess that the vanilla powder is just powdered sugar with vanilla flavoring.

This will all become second nature to you and much, much easier to navigate with time. Many of the items that people think are a problem are not and much of it is urban legend that just won't go away. I am an extremely sensitive Celiac and react to trace amounts of gluten but I also try to keep things in perspective. I also have a scientific background and job so tend to look at things without fear....I just get the ingredients list and go from there. This works out better than believing everything you hear on a forum because there is a lot of bad information out there. Starbucks cannot make claims that will be put them in legal jeopardy. There are too many people looking to make a fast buck these days, unfortunately!

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