Why Starbucks Doesn't Actually Grab Your Snack From The Pastry Case

When one thinks of Starbucks, sweetened drinks like the pumpkin spice latte or the espresso frappuccino may come to mind. But Starbucks is more than just a coffee shop — it's also a place where you can satisfy some light hunger cravings.

Sure there's the chilled berry trio parfait and several packaged goodies to choose from, but the real magic lies in the pastry case. Colorful cake pops, brownies, muffins, and loaves are a surefire way to satisfy a sweet tooth, while hot sandwiches, like the crispy grilled cheese and one of many egg sandwich variations, will make you wonder why Subway still exists. There are even sous vide egg bites for those who want a more refined twist on egg-based snacks.

While these items look ever-so enticing in the pastry case, there's a reason why Starbucks employees never use them. Instead, they'll grab your pastry from a different area for food service. Here's why that's the case (pun intended).

The pastries in the case aren't fresh

According to a former Starbucks barista who wrote for Insider, the pastry case is often home to two or three-day-old pastries, which not only won't taste very good, but it goes against health and sanitation codes. Maybe some Starbucks locations change out the pastry display case every day, but this particular barista has noticed a two or three-day turnover rate for the pastries.

A TikTok video by kaylakosmic seems to emphasize the sour odors that pastries take on after sitting out in the display case, which probably isn't something anyone would want in their food. The video shows the barista cleaning out the pastry case, but sometimes, as the former source noted, some baristas may nibble on a pastry that seems passable.

One Starbucks employee also chimed in the comment section, stating that foods in the display window get donated, but this certainly doesn't seem to be the case for all Starbucks locations. Many other commenters were surprised that the food was even real to begin with.

So next time you're at a Starbucks, feel free to stare in amazement at the pastry case, but try not to ask the barista for any of the display items for your own health and safety.