Starbucks has pulled a new breakfast item from the menu amid an onslaught of consumer complaints. The coffee giant on June 26 issued a voluntary "stop sell" for its new Chicken, Maple Butter and Egg Sandwich because the seasonal item failed to meet its standards for quality. The sandwich, which features chicken, fluffy eggs and a maple butter spread on a toasted oat biscuit roll, debuted on the menu on June 21.
Although details surrounding the "stop sell" remain unclear, concerns about the new breakfast sandwich first arose on crowdsourced website iwaspoisoned.com, which is dedicated to tracking foodborne illness outbreaks and credited with helping identify several outbreaks. In total, five claims were logged on the site prior to issue the "stop sell." Consumers said they experienced "symptoms of food poisoning" after eating the sandwich, with several people sharing that they experienced symptoms including diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, and sweating. Some reported that the symptoms lasted several days.
Amid the consumer reports, Starbucks confirmed Friday, July 9, that it issued a "stop sell" for the breakfast sandwich. However, the Seattle-based company said, per Today, that any claims the item caused specific illness are false. Starbucks explained, "the quality issue that was identified by Starbucks would not lead to food borne illness and any reports linking the stop sale to illness are inaccurate."
At this time, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not responded to requests for comment regarding the "stop sell." Starbucks, which confirmed that the FDA has not issued a recall for the Chicken, Maple Butter and Egg Sandwich, said withdrawing food products based on quality issues is not unusual or newsworthy, and that this was done "with an abundance of caution."
The Chicken, Maple Butter and Egg Sandwich debuted on Starbucks menus nationwide on June 21 as part of the growing seasonal summer menu. That menu saw the addition of new beverages, including the bright and bold Pineapple Passionfruit Refresher, which features tropical flavors of pineapple and passionfruit and real diced pineapple pieces, and the Paradise Drink Starbucks Refresher, which adds coconutmilk to the Pineapple Passionfruit Starbucks Refreshers beverage. The menu also includes the new Cookies & Cream Cake Pop, which combines chocolate cake with creamy sandwich cookie buttercream and cookie bits, dipped in white chocolate coating.