A Starbucks customer in Sacramento, California, received a free salad after earning coupons for previously purchasing 12 food items at the company's Natomas location. But when she opened up her "Hearty Veggie & Brown Rice Salad Bowl" and began eating, she noticed something black and alive wriggling around in the vegetables: a live cockroach (video below).
"As I am eating, in the bottom I see something black," Tia A. Ewing told CBS San Francisco. "It's alive. It's still alive and I am mortified."
Ewing says she immediately began filming the insect because she didn't think anyone would believe her story. At first, she assumed it was a beetle, but later said she believed it to be a cockroach that measured at least 1.5 inches long.
When Ewing contacted Starbucks to report the incident, she says they immediately apologized and wrote back to her, "We're very concerned to read about your salad, and we'd like to find out more."
They reportedly directed her to a customer service account so the item she purchased could be traced. Since then, Ewing says Starbucks offered her a $50 gift card.
Three years ago, Starbucks announced it was transitioning away from using grounded insect extracts as a red dye for their strawberry frappuccinos, smoothies, and desserts, CNN reports. In its place, they say they are using a "vegan-friendly" extract.
Photo Credit: Tia Ewing via YouTube.com