Starbucks ‘Vanilla Espresso Triple Shot’ drink recalled over metal fragment fears

Starbucks ‘Vanilla Espresso Triple Shot’ drink recalled after metal fragments are found in the bottles

  • Regulators issued the recall for 2,600 cans of the drink, sold at $3 each
  • It is for states Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas
  • Starbucks and PepsiCo — manufacturer — did not say how metal got in the drink
  • But previously this has been due to pieces breaking off machines during the manufacturing process
  • Officials warn consuming metal fragments risks damage to teeth, cuts to the mouth and throat and — in extreme cases — death 

Thousands of cans of Starbucks’ Vanilla Espresso Triple shot energy drink are being recalled in seven states over fears shards of metal are inside them. 

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued the warning for 2,600 cans — sold at around $3 each — labeled with the best before date March 20, 2023. It affects seven states: Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma and Texas.

It is not clear how metal shards may have got into the drink, but in similar cases this was due to bits of machines breaking off in factories and falling into products.

Food safety experts ‘strongly recommend’ that products are screened for contamination at factories using X-rays, low-power microwaves and specialist metal detectors, Food Safety Magazine reports.

Metal fragments pose a serious risk to consumers, with the FDA warning consuming them can lead to damage to teeth, cuts to the mouth and throat and — in extreme cases — punctured intestines that may lead to death. 

It is sold for about $3 each, normally in supermarkets and other stores

The above drink is being recalled across seven states. It is sold for about $3 each, normally in supermarkets and other stores. Starbucks and PepsiCo — the manufacturer — have not said how metal shards got into the drinks, but this may be down to pieces breaking off machines during manufacturing

The FDA issued the recall on September 8, saying it was due to ‘contamination by foreign material (metal fragments)’.

Although the 15-oz cans carry the Starbucks logo, the drinks were manufactured by PepsiCo. Neither company responded to a request for comment.

The drinks are normally sold in supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail outlets, rather than cafes run by Starbucks themselves. 

The FDA considers any product contaminated if it is ready-to-eat and contains any hard or sharp object longer than 7 millimeters — less than a centimeter.

Glass is the most common contaminant, the Food Safety Magazine says, although other common types include metals and bits of plastic.

They say companies are urged to check their products for contamination before they are dispatched for sale on shelves.

This includes regular inspection of manufacturing lines to ensure no parts have broken off and fallen into the products, and the deployment of X-rays and low-power microwaves to look for possible contaminants.

Health officials warn that consuming metal fragments in food risks damaging teeth as well as cuts to the throat or mouth. In extreme cases, the shards can also move into the intestine where they may cause perforations — or make a hole in its wall.

This is very painful and can cause toxins to leak into the rest of the body, which may result in death.

Alerts are usually raised over recalls because they involve dangerous diseases such as E.coli, that pose a major risk to people’s health.

But there are also several recalls over contamination with ‘foreign objects’ every year — which normally happens when a bit of the machine breaks off during manufacturing.

Just last month animal cookies from Market Pantry — which are shaped like a bear — were recalled after it was found they may have been contaminated with metal.

One of the most notable recalls this year was for popular brand Skippy peanut butter, where almost 10,000 cases — weighing 161,000-lbs — were recalled after shards of stainless steel were found inside some jars.

What are the health risks from eating shards of metal?

A recall has been issued for a Starbucks drink in seven states over fears it could be contaminated with shards of metal.

Because supply chains are mechanized, these can get into drinks when part of a machine breaks off and falls into the product.

The Food and Drug Administration warns consumers that consuming shards of metal could lead to scratches or damage to their teeth.

If swallowed, it could also lead to lacerations — or cuts — in the back of the mouth and throat.

And should it continue to the intestines the shard can cause a perforation — or hole — allowing toxins and other substances to leak from them.

This is extremely dangerous and can result in extreme pain and death.

Although recalls due to bacteria get more attention, those due to metal shards are also concerning. Just last month animal biscuits — shaped like bears — were recalled due to these concerns.