ALERT – Starbucks Ends Its Kosher-Friendly Store Program [Updated List of Approved Drinks]

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The following Kashrus alert regarding Starbucks is via the Star-K:

Please be advised that Starbucks Corporation has decided to end the expanded Star-K Kosher information program.

Consumers are advised that effective immediately, the Star-K can no longer vouch for the Kashrus of items previously listed that do not bear a reliable Kosher symbol – this includes frappuccinos and all flavored drinks.

Unflavored coffee recommendation remain the same as before.

In addition, the Kosher-friendly store program is no longer under our auspices.

A list of approved beverages (SEE BELOW) has been updated to reflect these changes.

Consumers who would like to see this program reinstated should contact Starbucks directly.

Customers must confirm Kashrus of additives to coffee by themselves by checking for reliable Kosher symbols.

At full service Starbucks stores that serve treif meat, one should avoid buying drinks prepared with equipment that may have been washed with treif equipment. There are drinks (see listed below) that are prepared without any contact with questionable equipment and are acceptable at any store. We cannot recommend any other products in these stores (see items on the list below flagged with an X) unless they are packaged with a reliable certification.

All drinks listed below are permissible under one of the following conditions:

The store does not serve meat or cheese items; OR

When one is traveling*. According to Star-K policy, traveling creates a sha’as hadchak (i.e., no other viable option is readily available) during which one need not be concerned with the restrictions on the beverages listed below. Traveling means when you are away from your hometown. You do not need to be driving on the highway to fit into the category of traveling.

Please note: Starbucks stores serve cholov stam.

*Traveling means when you are away from your hometown (this creates a situation of sha’as hadchak – i.e., no other viable option is readily available). You don’t need to be driving on the highway to fit into the category of traveling.

NOTE: Whipped Cream can be added upon request. Whipped cream found in most Starbucks stores carries a reliable Kosher certification. Before adding it to the product, consumers must first verify its kosher status by checking the original whipped cream container for a reliable kosher symbol.




21 COMMENTS

  1. I’m not a huge coffee drinker, let alone a Starbucks fan. Many of my friends are certainly upset about this news. I visited the Star K site and what I don’t understand is the category of acceptance while traveling (and no other options available). Assuming the traveler is in the US and not a holder of Cholov Yisroel, aren’t there other options that are “safer” and “easier” than being a consumer on the right side of that Star K list? For example, hotel breakfast (on disposables) of cereals, fruits, lobby/room coffee, hot tea, & juices, yogurts, Lender’s bagels, Philadelphia cream cheese, etc… Also, I can’t understand how it’s permissible for a traveler with a Starbucks coffee addiction to be allowed to follow the right side of that list. I am far from “yeshivish”, but this Star K list deeply troubles me. Just deal with Tropicana orange juice and cereal and milk for your business trip for a few days!

  2. If Starbucks cut their halal program the Islamic community would go nuts and it would be right back on. If they cut their vegan, recycling, green initiatives, anything, they would get pushback.

    You know what they are gonna get from us? Nothing. Because everyone is just gonna keep going.

    They remove education about Jews from their sensitivity training, cut kosher stores and we get right back in line for our coffee.

    Don’t shop there.

  3. 2929, I agree with you. Unfortunately I don’t think your idea will work for several reasons. 1. Sadly, many Jews will shop their coffee regardless if the Star K advises them about the Kashurus challenges. Because it’s not as black and white as treif meat/chicken or kosher meat/chicken, a sizable part of the Orthodox population doesn’t care about the universal coffee products. Also, unlike other demographics, I don’t think Orthodox Jews leaving Starbucks will make a large enough impact. 2. As I pointed out about, I really do believe many people have an addiction (they should speak with a Rav and therapist). Though I’m not a professional, I’d consider an addiction something that someone can’t live without for a few days of a business trip- Starbucks coffee in this case, which they will not give up.

  4. Better than not shopping there, get busy and complain! Call/email them and let them know, especially if you have used Starbucks in the past. Let them know they’ve lost your business. And contact the store in your neighborhood where you’ve been going.

    BE POLITE AND RESPECTFUL. The goal isn’t to tell them that they’re anti-Semitic or something, it’s to get them to realize that the shomer kashrus community has been giving them business and they’ll have us back if they keep the program.

    דברי חכמים בנחת נשמים

  5. I personally don’t even like Starbucks’ regular coffee. It tastes bitter to me. I had their coffee 2 times over the years and called it “QUITS”.
    To me this is just another reason not to go into Starbucks unless I need to use their bathroom.

  6. I travel to the UK frequently,
    Any rest area, Starbucks, Costa coffee will offer you Soya milk instead of regular milk, once in the Coffee you won’t feel the difference,

  7. Never mind their coffee.
    At least I can now use their eco-friendly toilets, hang out & loiter, chap a schmooze at a table w/o buying anything , and won’t get thrown out.
    Their sensitivity 1-day training took care of that.. I’m a ‘minority’ too, dontcha know.. A yiddle off the street.
    I can always call the ACLU to defend me.

  8. Is it a coincidence that the Jewish Howard Schultz retired from his Executive Chairman position at Starbucks this past June 26, and almost immediately their Kosher certification gets dumped?

    Or do corporations not move this fast?

  9. Its called StarBUCKS for a reason – you pay to the stars! why pay $6.00 or $10.00 for a coffee when you can spend $1.00 or less on a coffee?!

  10. Stop it already please! This is much ado about nothing, nothing at all! There never was a store that was kosher certified. Never ever ever! When you read the notice from the wonderful people in Baltimore, you could think all their stores were kosher but that is not true. This was completely and totally about informational purposes, where Starbucks was kind enough to share information with the people in Baltimore who then disseminated it to those who were interested in Starbucks products. Many people who wanted Starbucks products and cared about kashrus would walk into either a Starbucks or a supermarket and actually look at the kosher symbol on sealed packaging and make a decision for themselves, if it had an OU, it must be kosher.

    It is likely, and I don’t have proof to this just an edumicated guess, the reason the wonderful people in Baltimore got involved was because very misleading information was being disseminated by a group in Central Jersey who’s kashrus standards are questionable.

  11. “Lashon hara – lamed – heh; straight to Gehinnom theasy way.” And in the case of the Star-K, it’s motzei shem ra. Will someone PLEASE

  12. “Lashon hara – lamed – heh; straight to Gehinnom the easy way.” (Kids’ rhyme) And in the case of the Star-K, it’s motzei shem ra. Will someone PLEASE remember that tonight is Rosh Chodesh Av?

  13. The people at Starbucks know full well that they are an office space as well as a coffee shop, and that is why their prices are a bit high for coffee.

  14. “Unflavored coffee recommendation remain the same as before.”

    Then later on it says not to drink the plain coffee. Were we never supposed to be drinking Starbucks all that time?

  15. @Neville ChaimBerlin their regular coffee has been a kashrus issue since they introduced treif food. They mean the non flavored caffeinated drinks, which are in the list.