Starbucks is being sued for exposing customers and employees to this deadly pesticide

A lawsuit was recently filed in New York City which claims that Starbucks has been exposing both its employees and customers to deadly pesticides for years despite multiple warning from pest control experts.

According to court documents, a former Starbucks employee along with two pest control workers who serviced Starbucks stores for years claim the company “has for years permitted the deployment of toxic chemicals in its stores, which infused not only the food products and fixtures, but also the very air circulated throughout its retail locations in Manhattan.”

Image via Needpix

Former workers claim that Starbucks was “provided with no fewer than a dozen different explicit written warnings from external experts in the past three years.” Additionally, the claim that they “systematically and unlawfully hid these toxic products in their stores for the past several years.”

“Starbucks stores located throughout Manhattan –– from Battery Park to upper Manhattan –– continuously failed to take necessary or adequate measures to ensure their cleanliness and instead recklessly hid hazardous pesticides throughout their stores, including in close proximity to food and food preparation areas.” the lawsuit claims.

The lawsuit specially claims that Starbucks used “Hot Shot No-Pest 2” strips in their stores.

Image via Wikimedia Commons

That being said, the strips contain a toxin called Dichlorvos, which the lawsuit claims is “hazardous to humans.”

The lawsuit additionally claims that the labeling for the strips specifically warns:

“Do not use in the food/feed areas or food/feed processing or food/feed manufacturing or food/feed establishments.”

A pest control technician, Paul D’Auria, who worked for an outside company that serviced Starbucks stores for years alleged that he “discovered that Starbucks management personnel routinely placed numerous sets of DDVP No-Pest Strips within virtually each of the more than 100 stores that he serviced from at least early in 2015 through June 2018, and in multiple locations in each such store.”

Image via Public Domain Pictures

D’Auria additionally says he “routinely photographed many of the No-Pest Strips that he discovered for purposes of documenting and reporting the dangerous misuse of this product which posed an obvious threat to his own health and safety (as he worked in close and unsafe proximity to these DDVP strips) and the health and safety of Starbucks patrons and employees alike (who are also all commonly in close and unsafe proximity to these DDVP strips).”

He claims to have found on the strips the following:

  • piled on or around air vents
  • affixed behind the coffee bar
  • piled in heaps along high shelves and ledges
  • under and along countertops
  • in and next to pastry cabinets
  • in employee break areas
  • in out-of-sight areas of near-permanent filth and disrepair
Image via Max Pixel

Director of Operation for the company D’Auria, Jill Shwiner, claims she “repeatedly warned Starbucks management personnel responsible for overseeing Manhattan-area stores that the No-Pest Strips must not be used in Starbucks stores because they pose a severe health hazard. She delivered such warnings both in writing and in-person, including numerous instances when she discovered No-Pest Strips while personally on-site at various Starbucks stores in Manhattan.”

“The repeated warnings that Ms. Shwiner and Mr. D’Auria relayed to Starbucks management personnel also regularly emphasized that the root cause of the presence of fruit flies and other pests were dirty, unsanitary conditions in affected stores, which were frequently left to fester.” the lawsuit states.

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