Starbucks in hot water after exposing customers to toxic pesticide

Starbucks in hot water after exposing customers to toxic pesticide
Photo: Endrjuch , Wikimedia Commons

The global coffee company, Starbucks, has been hit with two recent lawsuits claiming that several New York City stores have been exposing their customers to a potentially dangerous toxic pesticide. The store manager of one of the outlets was subsequently fired due to the claims. The claimants are arguing that they suffered emotional and physical distress, suing for an unspecified amount of damages.

10 Starbucks customers claim that they were susceptible to a toxic chemical known as Dichlorvos, also known as DDVP. Basically, DDVP is an ingredient in pesticide strips, specifically the brand Hot Shot No-Pest Strips. The strips are manufactured by Spectrum Brand Holdings. The toxin is emitted into the air, designed to kill insects and cockroaches.

Naturally, many restaurants use the strips to keep away pests, ensuring that all food is prepared safely and in accordance to health regulations. However, damning photos have emerged showing the pesticide strips next to various food items like bagels and even near food preparation equipment. According to Hot Shot, the strips should never be placed in kitchens or directly in restaurant areas where food is being prepared for serving.

It’s not even the first time that Starbucks has been rattled by these pesticide strips. A pest control technician alleges that from 2016 to 2018, he made several complaints regarding the use of the strips. Starbucks terminated his contract in June 2018, apparently to silence his repeated claims.