Customer with allergies calls out Starbucks barista for making ‘unsanitized’ drink
Mia, who says she has over 50 allergies and goes through @theallergicgirl on ICT Tac, described the recent experience in a video that has since been viewed more than 100,000 times. In the three-minute clip, Mia said she was ‘debating’ making a video about her recent trip to Starbucks, but decided to share her experience in a bid to draw attention to the issues she was having. by people with severe food allergy.
She explained that she likes to order from her two trusted Starbucks stores, which go out of their way to accommodate her allergy requests. However, Mia was in Boston’s Back Bay neighborhood when she decided to try her luck at another Starbucks store, given the chain’s long history of catering to her allergies.
When she ordered her drink at the counter, she told the worker about her severe food allergies and asked that her drink be made in a “health-friendly” shaker. For those unaware, Mia explained that a drink is considered sanitized if it’s made in a freshly cleaned or unused shaker. This prevents his drink from being contaminated with other ingredients like coconut or almond milk, which could send him to the hospital.
The cashier was very understanding of Mia’s request and added a label to the cup stating that her drink needs to be sanitized so other baristas can see it.
As she waited for her order in the pickup area, she watched the bartender behind the counter to make sure he had properly sanitized her drink. She noticed that the barista assigned to her order asked his co-worker what a sanitized request meant, and the co-worker replied, “Do what you think is best.”
The barista then rinsed the Starbucks shaker with cold water, which Silverman says is “not the same as sanitizing.” When handed her drink order, she confronted the barista and asked if he was properly sanitized, to which he replied, “I did my best.”
“I threw the drink in the trash because I wasn’t going to risk my life for it,” she concluded the video, and asked the Boston Starbucks location to “do better.”
The viral video prompted many Starbucks customers to rally behind Mia and urged the specific location to take allergy requests more seriously. “I work in the restaurant business and food allergies complicate things a bit, but it’s literally my job and it’s not hard to pay attention to it,” one person commented.
“Always take orders seriously,” another user wrote. “They shouldn’t have to declare their allergies, workers should just do the right thing. We never know.”
“As a barista running back to sanitize or getting a new one literally takes 20 seconds,” one TikToker shared.
Another fellow barista wrote, “I literally have no problem doing this for customers. It literally takes a minute to sanitize a cocktail shaker.
Some users defended the Starbucks worker, while others clarified that the popular coffee chain cannot guarantee there will be no cross-contamination with any of its other products.
“Looks like the guy was just confused. If you saw him doing it wrong tell him exactly what you want,” one TikToker wrote.
“I work at Starbucks and we’re supposed to tell everyone that we can’t guarantee there’s no cross contamination, they should have told you that,” another user said.
“This is so wrong from Starbucks, but as a former barista, we can never guarantee anything is allergen free,” a third person shared. “Be careful”.
The Independent contacted Mia and Starbucks for comment.