With over 34,000 Starbucks stores globally, you can find one close by to satisfy your tastes, whether you’re searching for a morning pick-me-up like a Caffè Americano, latte, iced cold brew coffee, or espresso, or a cold drink on a warm day like a refresher or Frappuccino. Customers can make their dream drink by ordering specific milk, syrup, flavor, sweetener, or cold foam.
Starbucks sells beverages, breakfast and lunch sandwiches, baked pastries, and cake pops. The 10 persons on this list received unpleasant and scary add-ons to their Starbucks drinks and food orders. In certain cases, customers have placed orders with long lists of unrequested alterations.
In San Marcos, Texas, Kelly Burns and her mother Karen Molnoskey are regulars at their neighborhood Starbucks. However, after making a terrible discovery in their drink order, their affection for the coffee giant swiftly faded. On the morning of August 31, 2016, Burns purchased a venti mocha for herself and a venti coconut mocha for her mother at the San Marcos Starbucks drive-thru. Unfortunately, Burns detected a rattling sound inside her coffee cup after drinking roughly half of it and started having stomach discomfort.
Burns promptly took her cup to the sink to empty the coffee in an effort to catch the offender; there, she discovered two wafer-like objects. The manager at the Starbucks shop informed Molnoskey that the items were cleaning tablets that were used to clean the machines every morning when she returned with the cup and the items inside.
Thankfully, Burns had the reassurance that she would heal from the trauma within a few days when she went to the ER for a checkup. Burns accepted Starbucks’ offer to cover her medical expenditures, but she was unconcerned because her health insurance would take care of the costs. Instead, she was more worried about what might happen to other people, like her five-year-old daughter, who also gets hot chocolate from the establishment.
On February 6, 2016, Amanda Vice and her 2-year-old daughter Payton were consuming a Java Chip Frappuccino from a San Bernadino Starbucks. Vice didn’t start looking at her own drink until her mother-in-law commented that it smelled metallic, at which point she saw blood inside and around the lip of the cup.
When Vice contacted the Starbucks location, they acknowledged that one of the baristas was indeed bleeding and that the employee was no longer preparing beverages for customers. Vice refused the store’s offer of free beverages for a week as compensation and asked the staff to get tested for diseases like HIV instead. Vice recruited a lawyer after Starbucks refused.
In May 2021, Taylor Bullard was returning from the airport when she bought a cake pop from a Boston, Massachusetts, Starbucks. But weirdly, the frosting on the outside of the cake pop appeared to pull away when she bit into it. Fortunately, Boullard noticed the mold inside and spit it out before she could start chewing. Starbucks reacted to Boullard when she shared a video of the incident on TikTok and said they were looking into it. Boullard also received a $25 gift card from them.
On August 30, 2021, Matthew Tyler Mitchell only wanted a straightforward black coffee when he stepped into his neighborhood Starbucks in Greenwich, Connecticut. Unfortunately, he was given a cleaning solution rather than coffee. The instant Mitchell took a sip of the “coffee,” he experienced burning in his mouth, throat, and stomach. Instead of finding black coffee when he looked at his beverage, he discovered a blue chemical solution. Mitchell understandably felt lightheaded and queasy after realizing he had consumed an unusual drug.
When Mitchell reported the Starbucks management, he was informed that a new employee had made the error and had accidentally filled the coffee brewer with cleaning fluid—more specifically, Urnex Urn and Brewer Cleaner—instead of actual coffee.
Placing an empty upside-down cup on top of the brewer appeared to be the only procedure the store had in place to notify staff when the cleaning solution was in the machines. Due to the employee’s irresponsibility and the ongoing medical problems he has had as a result of his traumatic experience, Mitchell has recently launched a lawsuit against Starbucks.
On March 15, 2009, David Dixon placed an order for an egg and sausage breakfast sandwich at a Starbucks in Seattle, Washington, where he was meeting up with some colleagues for breakfast. Dixon regrettably felt discomfort from a back tooth and a “pungent iron taste” after biting into the meal. A manager noticed the disturbance and went over to check on Dixon.
The manager also offered to make him another breakfast sandwich, but Dixon had to give him the rusted nail in exchange. Before Dixon agreed, one of his coworkers took photos to record the occurrence. Dixon sued not only Starbucks but also their suppliers Sara Lee and SK Food Group because he had a cracked tooth, swollen ligaments, and damage to his temporomandibular joint.
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