11 Responses

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  1. Lisa
    Lisa at |

    Very interesting post. I’m nut-allergic and watch them intently when they make my drinks as there are nutty syrups that could mistakenly be put in mine. Incidently, I’ve just asked Starbucks about their hot chocolate/Mocha and whether they are suitable for vegetarians – this is due to some chocolate drinks (MacDonalds for one) that could contain animal rennet. Starbucks replied saying that they can not confirm what is in their drinks (?!?!) so they advise I don’t drink them!

  2. Linda
    Linda at |

    Starbucks is one of the places I would NEVER suggest an allergic person eat. There are nuts in their pastries which are all sitting together in the display case. When they heat them up, they use the same tongs to pick everything up and put it in an oven to heat where other things have been placed.

  3. Jessica Martin
    Jessica Martin at |

    Thank you for this thoughtful post! My son has life-threatening food allergies and I’m intolerant to dairy. I always get a dairy alternative when visiting coffee shops (usually not Starbucks because I prefer rice or coconut milk over soy). Personally, I’m fine with cross-contamination, but because of my son, I watch what they do. As you’ve shared, it is definitely NOT safe for those with true IgE allergies. I’ve been tempted to “educate” or “ask” if they are allergy aware, but there is usually a line behind me. The few times I’ve asked, it was clear the baristas did not understand cross-contamination :(. Awareness in the food industry has a long way to go based on my experiences!

  4. Charlotte
    Charlotte at |

    That doesn’t surprise me, when I go to Starbucks or costa (uk) due to my sons dairy allergy I always order soy drinks, but then see them heat the milk on the same nozzle thing they do with normal milk, even when the machine has another one not being used. All they do is give it a wipe down with a grotty dirty cloth! I mentioned it last time I went in and the barista said she agreed it did seen stupid. Not a worry for me so much but just wouldn’t trust them if I did have an allergy!

  5. Sherry
    Sherry at |

    I’ve always thought that Starbucks is extremely risky for someone with allergies. If we go my PA daughter gets a banana and a boxed vanilla milk. I’ve called corporate and they were able to verify that the vanilla milk is made in a peanut/treenut free factory. They could not do the same for the chocolate milk and recommended that we avoid it. I would never dream of letting my daughter order a drink from them. Cross-contamination EVERYWHERE. I’ve also been really disappointed that they can’t carry one single pre-packaged snack that is allergy friendly

  6. Heather
    Heather at |

    To those with a gluten allergy or with celiac — beware that the mocha powder is manufactured on the same machinery as gluten. I got very ill after having a hot chocolate.

  7. Heather
    Heather at |

    This is good information, yes, but one of those warnings where my first reaction is “who thought it was safe in the first place?”. You can clearly see they have nut, dairy etc items interspersed with everything else, so I would just assume it wasn’t safe in the first place and avoid it!

  8. Ruth
    Ruth at |

    After several trusting forays into the world of gourmet coffees (Starbuck’s and Tim Horton’s) and several bad reactions, I decided it was not worth tickling the tastebuds. In essence, I was throwing my money down the drain (literally). I have learned to copycat my favourite flavours and make them at home. Still working on French Vanilla, but my coffees are cheaper and taste just as good. True, I do not get the thrill of feeling special by having someone wait on me, but I figure my health is just too high a price to pay.

  9. susan
    susan at |

    Thanks for this info. Starbucks is a money maker. They don’t even make really good coffee – yes, in comparison with other chain coffee it’s good, but only so. Also, their Lattes are cheaply made and full of fluffy, not creamy, froth. Last I bought one – four years ago – it was so light that I had to laugh – and went back with the “barista” looking baffled that I would complain about the Starbucks quality. Their many other drinks are nothing but syrup and glucose. Go to an independent, local, cafe and you can make friends with them so that they know about your allergies and take care of you.

  10. Jenna
    Jenna at |

    I wanted to say that I myself was a victim of an allergic reaction from the negligence if Starbucks. I always get a green tea frappuccino with soy milk and no whip cream. I went through the drive trough and told the barista my order and explained I was allergic. I was at the drive through for 5 minutes and the girl handed me my drink out the window and say “don’t worry about it”. I didn’t have to pay and that should have been my first clue. I just thought it was a customer service thing where I had been waiting so long. I took two sips and the drink just didn’t taste right. After looking through the drink it looks at those cream was put on the top then scooped out. Had the barista had told me, it could have saved me from having an anaphylactic reaction two hours later that put me in the hospital.

  11. Mary
    Mary at |

    It’s eggnog season at the coffee shops if you’re dealing with egg allergy. It’s difficult to clean the nozzle that releases steam into the milk or eggnog or soy drink since the liquid gets cooked right onto the nozzle as it heats up. The same nozzle gets used for various drinks. Then there are the nut syrups they add to drinks. I would only buy pre-packaged, ingredient -labelled food/drinks, such as juice at such places.

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