Starbucks cake pop with mold

@teabezel28/TikTok

‘I eat these in one bite’: Viewers are swearing off Starbucks cake pops after TikToker finds something odd

The coffee giant promptly jumped into the comments.

 

Nahila Bonfiglio

Internet Culture

Published May 5, 2021   Updated May 5, 2021, 11:54 am CDT

Starbucks may be best known for its coffee, but fans of the mega-corporate coffeehouse flock to its hundreds of locations for more than the java. The cake pops offered at checkout are a persistently popular item among frequent Starbucks visitors, but a recent TikTok video might change that.

Starbucks’ cake pops took center stage in a recent TikTok from user @teabezel28. The video is the most popular on her page, with more than 5 million views since it was posted on Monday. It has inspired a wave of horrified reactions, as viewers contend with the reality of what they may have been putting in their mouths all these years.

The video is brief. It shows a Starbucks cake pop, bitten in half, resting in someone’s hand. Underneath the pink frosting shell, among the crumbly cake interior, several small bluish-green blemishes can be seen. Small speckles of mold litter the bite-sized treat as @teabezel28 brings the mildew-covered cake pop closer to the camera.

https://www.tiktok.com/@teabezel28/video/6957438711009135878?d=secCgYIASAHKAESMgowA%2BmtkfCJ%2BSpz98NWNjxhFhCawUBtPqJZXwT7AgobuN3Nkrav9hgvB9wyAiDiDpKHGgA%3D&language=en&preview_pb=0&sec_user_id=MS4wLjABAAAANNkFxIzFXbNmTQYwIXOhyo_0AdaufCArN1oWGwrVUsJgLsQT8tJXjqQhLdUrQgM&share_app_id=1233&share_item_id=6957438711009135878&share_link_id=F0F23119-8835-4912-B738-B64F0446B65F&source=h5_m&timestamp=1620171703&tt_from=copy&u_code=da47b296d25ej6&user_id=6775740175021622277&utm_campaign=client_share&utm_medium=ios&utm_source=copy&_r=1&is_copy_url=0&is_from_webapp=v1&sender_device=pc&sender_web_id=6954311998897882630

A number of commenters were initially confused by the video, noting in the comments that they initially saw birthday cake flavor in the tiny spots of color. When they realized their mistake, viewers reacted in horror and disgust.

“No. I just ate one yesterday while driving and didn’t bother to look,” one commenter wrote. “Now I’m all stressed.”

This was a common sentiment, as viewers recalled their last cake pop experience with a sudden burst of anxiety. Another commenter stressed after noting that “I ate one whole like 10 minutes ago now I’m scared for my life.”

The vast majority of viewers, once they’d swallowed their disgust, encouraged @teabezel28 to “get your coin sis.”

Comments urging @teabezel28 to use her new leverage to get “a free college tuition” were rampant.

Starbucks eventually caught wind of the video. The company responded with a heavily liked comment, which has earned more than 286,000 likes in less than a day and inspired thousands of comments. In the comment, the company expressed its concern and requested that @teabezel28 give corporate a call.

Though rare, there were a few commenters who walked away from the video undisturbed. Despite the mold, some hardcore Starbucks fans were undeterred, noting that “that’s just some extra flavor.”

Several former and current Starbucks employees also weighed in. They seemed to agree that most Starbucks locations are extremely diligent about disposing of expired, or nearly expired, products. They shared a collective shrug at the presence of mold in a cake pop, and urged @teabezel28 to report the location. “This Starbucks is breaking protocol,” one former employee wrote. “Expose them.”


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*First Published: May 5, 2021, 7:51 am CDT