Starbucks withdraws new chicken sandwich

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Starbucks has withdrawn a recently introduced breakfast chicken sandwich from its locations, saying Friday the seasonal item failed to meet its standards for quality.

The Seattle-based company said it issued a voluntary "stop sell" for its chicken, maple butter and egg sandwich on June 26.

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.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but Starbucks said the agency has not issued a recall. 

Starbucks said withdrawing food products based on quality issues is not unusual or newsworthy, and that this was done "with an abundance of caution."

Ensuring food is properly cooked, distributed and stored under proper temperature conditions, correctly handled, and fully reheated are key food safety measures.

Starbucks said that the sandwich was cooked, frozen, shipped, and then reheated for customers at its participating locations — a process that could shut out food-borne illness.

The item debuted alongside seasonal beverages on the first day of summer, June 21, and was taken off shelves five days later.

It's a latecomer in the wake of chicken sandwich wars at fast food restaurants and fast casual eateries triggered by the successful rollout of Popeyes' version in 2019.

During a May quarterly earnings call, A 25 percent increase in food sales, describing the first three months of 2022 as "another record-breaking quarter of food."

Since at least 2017, Starbucks has set its sights on expanding lunch sales to fuel its revenue.

In May, the company projected that nine out of 10 of its new locations would include drive-thru service.

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