Coffee giant Starbucks ended a short-lived attempt to jump into the chicken sandwich game when it pulled its “satisfyingly savory” chicken sandwich from the menu after some customers said it gave them diarrhea.
The company issued a voluntary “stop sell” on June 26 and has since dismissed any claims Friday that its chicken, maple butter, and egg sandwich put customers at risk of illness. Starbucks instead explained their decision to remove the sandwich by saying the product failed to meet quality standards, according to NBC News.
“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,” a Starbucks statement said.
According to the New York Post, customers, and even some Starbucks employees, shared horror stories about their experience after eating the sandwich.
“Suing for the worst diarrhea of my life. I have been living in my bathroom for 2 days now,” one person said on TikTok.
Another TikTok user who appeared to be an employee said the sandwich “Took out two of my baristas at my store.”
Some customers complained about biting into chicken bones while others claimed the chicken was “ice cold in the middle.”
The Post also reported that, according to an internal Starbucks memo posted online, employees were instructed not to donate the discarded chicken sandwich.
A Starbucks spokesperson told the Post that the chicken is fully cooked before it arrives at stores and is then warmed up before being served. The sandwich’s removal was not related “listeria and salmonella,” the spokesperson added.
Starbucks said removing products for quality issues is not unusual, assuring that the company is “using an abundance of caution” with its removal of the chicken sandwich. The Seattle-based company assured that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had not issued any recall of the product.
The 420-calorie sandwich, which is still viewable on the company’s online menu, is described as “Breaded white-meat chicken, fluffy eggs and a maple butter spread on a toasted oat-biscuit roll–a satisfyingly savory sandwich with a hint of sweetness.”