SACRAMENTO (CBS SF) — A Starbucks salad packed a little extra protein for a woman who opened her plastic-enclosed lunch and ate several bites before finding something black with six legs and a hard exoskeleton wriggling below the broccoli florets.
Tia Ewing said, “As I am eating, in the bottom I see something black. It appears to be a beetle. It’s alive. It’s still alive and I am mortified.”
She added, “I started filming because I knew no one would believe it.”
Ewing had made 12 purchases at the Natomas Starbucks previously, collecting stamps on her rewards card to earn today’s 13th purchase for free, a “Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl.” The beetle or possibly black cockroach looked to be at least 1.5 inches long, as long as the tines on her plastic fork.
Ewing said she takes food safety seriously, and quickly contacted Starbucks to report the incident.
Starbucks immediately apologized for the six-legged discovery, writing, “We’re very concerned to read about your salad, and we’d like to find out more.”
They directed her to a customer service account to track down the details of the package.
Savvy Starbucks customers may remember the Seattle-based coffee chain previously served food with beetle-based products on purpose, in the form of a red dye made from ground up cochineal bugs, used in its Strawberry Frappuccinos. That red dye was later replaced with a vegan version.
Ewing later tweeted that Starbucks offered her a $50 gift card. And now she’s definitely calling it a cockroach.