Starbucks introduced a new chicken sandwich as part of its revamped summer menu last month — but quietly discontinued it less than a week later after customers and employees alike said it was making them seriously ill, The Post has learned.
Hundreds of customers and even Starbucks baristas have taken to social media to share their bouts of diarrhea, vomiting and stomach aches after eating the new chicken, maple butter and egg sandwich launched on June 21.
“I am suing the worst diarrhea of my life. I have been living in my bathroom for two days now,” one victim posted on TikTok on June 28. Another wrote, “Last Wednesday… very ill… he tested positive for Campylobacter (food poisoning caused by raw chicken) on Sunday.”
Some customers complained that they had bitten off the chicken bones while others said the new breakfast sandwich was ‘chilled in the middle’.
Six days later, Starbucks sent an urgent note to store employees to “stop selling and dispose” of the sandwich immediately, according to the memo posted online by a Starbucks employee. The company also instructed workers not to donate sandwiches, according to the memo.
Served with great fanfare, the sandwich was supposed to signal Starbucks’ entry into the chicken sandwich wars – and removing it from menus was as quiet as a feather plucked.
In a statement, the Seattle coffee giant acknowledged that the Chicken Maple Butter sandwich “does not meet Starbucks’ quality standards” and that the company issued a voluntary recall and “does not sell.”
A spokesperson declined to comment on the influx of social media posts from people tired of the sandwich, adding that the product is fully cooked and only “warm” in stores. “It has nothing to do with Listeria and Salmonella,” she said, as some people have reported.
Starbucks added that it is “committed to a high standard of quality in the products we offer. Delivering a high quality experience to our customers is our top priority, and we always act with extreme caution whenever a product (or quality issue) issue arises.”
This is a small relief for people who were unlucky enough to take it during their six-day run.
An employee posted on TikTok “I’m taking out two baristas in my shop.” Another wrote: “I’ve been dying of stomach aches all day.”
Several high-profile cases of food poisoning have made headlines recently, including an outbreak linked to an ice cream in Florida – Big Olaf – that killed two people and injured at least 23.
The Food and Drug Administration and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are investigating the ice cream outbreak as well as thousands of reports from consumers who say they got sick after eating Lucky Charms and Cheerios breakfast cereals, which are made by General Mills.
Some food safety experts have predicted a rise in food poisoning incidents as the epidemic subsides and more people return to understaffed restaurants.