Woman finds unusual tablets at the bottom of Starbucks drink: 'I was scared to death'

Starbucks is known for having an ever-evolving list of drinks that incorporate seasonal add-ons and trendy ingredients. But concocting something new likely wasn’t the intention of a Utah barista who gave a customer a drink with two cleaning tablets at the bottom.

Deneice Lee of Layton, Utah, was making her routine trip to the Starbucks inside a local Smith’s grocery store when she quickly determined that something about her green tea Frappuccino tasted “off.” It was the second drink the barista had made for her the day after her first order wasn’t made correctly, so Lee let it pass as drinkable — never considering that it could cause her harm.

A woman in Utah found cleaning tablets at the bottom of her Starbucks drink. (Photo: Getty Images)

“It just tasted like burnt rubber, honestly,” Lee told KSTU of the last sip she took of the drink before leaving it in the car while unloading groceries. “My kids came out running, saying, ‘Mom, I think there’s pills on the, on the bottom of your drink.'”

Two white tablets were exactly what Lee found when she took a video of herself pouring out the remaining liquid in the cup. Lee’s friend then called a Starbucks manager who she knew to inquire about what they might be. That’s when Lee found out that the same tablets are used to clean the espresso machines.

“I was scared to death,” Lee said. “Really panicked, I had no idea what I ingested.”

She was advised to go to the hospital, where she ultimately became ill and was admitted for a few hours. Now, she says that she’s seeking compensation for that hospital bill, but unsure how much further she’ll take her case.

Starbucks Spokesperson told Yahoo Lifestyle:

Smith’s store director and our customer service team have apologized to the customer directly for the mistake and worked to assure her of our commitment to make this right. This mistake should never have been made and both Starbucks and Smith’s are working together to understand how this happened and to remind associates of our cleaning procedures designed to help prevent this type of situation.

“I honestly think it was an honest mistake,” Lee concluded. “I would hope it’s an honest mistake. I really just don’t ever want it to happen to anyone else.”

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