Starbucks closes 2 stores and launches a full inspection of all 5,400 outlets in China after a report that staff used out-of-date produce

A staff member serves a customer at a Starbucks Coffee house in Beijing
A staff member serves a customer at a Starbucks Coffee house in Beijing

  • Starbucks is inspecting all 5,400 China stores after staff in two outlets reportedly used expired food.
  • Beijing News’ undercover report said staff used expired matcha liquid and sold old pastries, per Reuters.
  • Starbucks apologized in a Weibo post, saying it has closed the two stores being investigated.

Starbucks said on Monday that it has launched a full inspection into all 5,400 stores in China after a state-backed newspaper said that staff in two of its outlets had used expired ingredients.

Beijing News said on Monday it had carried out an undercover investigation at two Starbucks stores in Wuxi City in eastern China and found that staff were using out-of-date ingredients, Reuters reported.

A server at one of the Starbucks stores used expired matcha liquid to make lattes, according to the report.

At the other store, old pastries, which were supposed to be thrown away, were put on display for sale, the report said.

Starbucks apologized for the incidents in a Weibo post, and said that it has closed the two stores for investigation, according to the newswire. 

The company reportedly confirmed in the post that employees in the two stores in Wuxi violated operating regulations.

“We sincerely apologise to all of Starbucks’ customers,” the company said in a statement on its Weibo account, per Reuters. Starbucks added in its apology that the company had not paid enough attention to food safety standards.

Reuters reported that Wuxi’s Market Supervision Administration said in a statement on Monday that following its investigations into the two stores, it had also inspected all of Starbucks’ 82 stores in the city.

Across these stores, the agency discovered 15 problems, including unfinished disinfection records and staff not wearing their work hats, per Reuters.

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