Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Boy Chokes on Plastic in Sandwhich

Father Upset Son Chokes on Piece of Plastic Found Inside a Starbucks Sandwich

Sunshine Coast, BC Canada
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
by Duane Burnett

Ron Leblanc tells me his kid recently choked on a piece of plastic found in a sandwich his mom bought at the Gibsons Starbucks.

Ron said all this talk about the Gulf Oil Spill & plastic industry of late and watching the plastic pollution video of the bird eating plastic at "Our plastic problem is our oil problem" triggered him to write me about the incident.

"Watching the video on the bird swallowing the plastic bag was so sad and frustrating, and then seeing my son choke on a piece of thick gage blue plastic bag was too much!"

Leblanc said "it took my son all of a few seconds to almost die from plastic that was cooked into a breakfast sandwich, sold from Starbucks!"

He alleges it was the second time his family purchased a sandwich from the Starbucks location at Sunnycrest Mall, in upper Gibsons, BC, containing "distinct blue plastic."

The family often picks up sandwiches and drinks from the local cafe every other day.

"My son was part way through his sandwich when I noticed him struggling to breath, (horrible sight) when I went to check his airway with my little finger, I could feel plastic in his throat which I managed to push aside and my son swallowed it! He recovered quickly after his airway way was free and began to come around."

"Upon closer inspection of the sandwich I noticed another piece of blue plastic cooked into the center of the egg! We returned the plastic along with the rest of the sandwich to Starbucks and an employee removed it and she couldn't even tear it in half because of how thick it was."

"The plastic was sent to Starbucks in Vancouver for analysis. Starbucks is blaming the vendor who makes the sandwiches, as they don't make them in store. The vendor is SK Foods, in Seattle, Washington".

He is a parent and father now even more frustrated, claiming since the April 28th incident "nobody can find the plastic even though it was sent directly from Gibsons to Vancouver."

I can totally understand what this family is going through and appreciate how horrible it is for Ron, his son and family to see their kid almost choke to death over a breakfast sandwich of all things.

I think it is also really truly honorable that Ron sees just how horrific it is on a large scale for all the animals on this planet dying slow agonizing deaths drowning in plastic pollution. That is indeed very scary!

You might have similar incidents and stories to tell too? I finished a Red Robin Caesar salad once at their Robson and Thurlow location in Vancouver, BC, only to find one of those giant industrial staples at the bottom. Another time I bit into some Purdy's chocolate to find a little shard of plastic cooked into it. Sounds very similar to the plastic piece Ron found. Purdy's sent me a complimentary box of chocolates and explained the plastic came from the molds used in manufacturing.

I realize these things happen from time to time so I am trying to be understanding, my main concern with Purdy's was that they fix the process so it doesn't happen again.

I can only imagine the countless horrible agonizing death's our planet's wildlife are endearing as we speak. Their tummy's full of plastic.

Ron says the family is still trying to find out where the plastic piece went missing.

"I think it is time that people are held accountable for these incidents on the big and small scale." he said

He just spoke with the sandwich maker in Seattle (-- wow, talk about using lots of fossil fuel to haul a sandwich from the US to Gibsons!--) and he said SK Food's is now blaming it on the company that sends them the eggs. Talk about pass the CLUCK!

"I am very frustrated with everyone passing the buck. I think the public should be made aware of these things so they can make there own educated decision on where to spend their hard earned money."

The SK-Foods Q.A person said they will look into the incident and how plastic is ending up in their sandwiches.

Ron adds "I do think it is SK-foods job as quality control, to make sure there is no foreign substances in there sandwiches before they package them and send them to businesses."

It really makes you wonder if plastic and petroleum products heralded as such a great modern invention won't be the downfall of the entire planet? I haven't heard of any plastic corporation stepping up to clean those giant gyros of pollution choking the oceans? Have you?

And what do you make of a sandwich that is made in Seattle and shipped to Gibsons? I think it is an absurd waste of the Earth's resources!

I know the staff at Gibsons' Starbucks give great service every time I am in there. Lets separate personalities from procedures in this for starters. They no doubt feel just as bad about this kid chocking on one of their products.

I can't help but muse that what must be really strange for them in a helpless demoralizing kinda way is to know you are not even making the sandwiches you sell to the consumer, that local people are struggling financially and could really use a raise and more work to feed their own family. Surely there must be eggs available locally from free-range farms, and not those nauseating chicken torture factory farms.

Have I gone to far and lost you here?

"My son is o.k. Thanks for all your concern, these are terrible things and I feel the public needs to know about the plastic/oil killing our earth and our people on it!!" Ron Leblance

I am just thankful Ron's son is ok! Aren't you?

If you want to check out the video Ron watched here is the link on my blogspot

Thanks for reading. Your comments and feedback greatly appreciated. I'll let you know the outcome of all this!

It's always a good day on the Sunshine Coast! Duane

Story (C) Duane Burnett


I get way more comments and feedback right now on my facebook profile "Notes" where I upload my blog too after putting it on Twitter.

This is what people said:

Duane Burnett
local Dad Ron Leblanc tells me it was horrifying to watch his son choke on plastic inside a Gibsons Starbucks breakfast sandwich. Get this, made in Seattle and trucked to Gibsons! WTF?

PinkSafire BlackDiamond
Is he o.k.??

Dustin Shields
very well said!

Tom Talarico
made in Seattle and trucked to Gibsons! WTF?

Tom Talarico
Is he OK?

Dustin Shields
sounds like a nasty sandwich if made that far away!

Ron Leblanc
My son is o.k. Thanks for all your concern, these are terrible things and I feel the public needs to know about the plastic/oil killing our earth and our people on it!! This incident happened April 28th not may.

Dustin Shields
wouldnt it be a lot easier, cheaper, safer and better for the community if they just made the sandwiches on the coast?

Ron Leblanc
Totally I agree, should be local eggs!!

Tom Talarico
LOCAL ! who else gives a shit!

PinkSafire BlackDiamond
I'm a parent too Ron and we live here in Gibsons, I'm glad to hear that he's alright. :)

Dustin Shields
besides, its bound to be healthier and taste better!

Deborah Keith Geoffrion
try Wheatberries or the Wild or the Sweet Chef or any number of locally owned eateries for LOCAL..

Duane Burnett
thanks for all your comments and taking the time to read the story. Much appreciated. Duane

Maureen Ainslie
Duane, what's the latest on the trout lake body? have you heard anything?

Duane Burnett
Maureen scroll down my profile wall to Update on Trout Lake Body, it has it all there. Hope that helps. Duane

Kera Mchugh
Ron, glad to hear things turned out ok for your son. That must have been frightening, to say the least.

Thanks for the props, Deborah. It would be nice if the starbucks on the coast contracted local providers... you'd think sbux would be more local in their thinking that way, with all the hoopla they make about being so environmental & earth-loving...

I have to admit, when the gibsons sbux first opened, it was suggested we propose such a thing, but at the time we weren't prepared enough to add that to our plate... April - sweet chef - maybe that could be a new venue for your baking!

Lee Mason
exactly try the wild and try picnic basket in the mall or come down to the village to liquid livin where were just starting new things .. use your dollars to speak for you so many good local sources and support your friends. and neighbors..

Kera Mchugh
And keep your eyes open for the new Green Banner Local Food Directory hitting the streets this weekend!

Duane Burnett
I like the idea of the local food directory. I have been trying to get one started for a few years now. Glad to see someone got it going!

Melina Cassidy
So glad I quit when I did, though I probably shoulda quit earlier. (former assistant store manager for Starbucks)
Both starbucks stores on the sunshine coast receive their food frozen from the mainland (pastries too, a lot of ppl assume they are baked on site). The sandwiches are frozen in the USA, individually wrapped. Love ain't in the ingredients when things get mass produced like that. I found a maggot in a fruit tart from the starbucks pastry case once. It was called in, reported as a quality issue, and nothing more was done.
The only blue plastic found in a starbucks store would come from the frozen banana boxes which share the freezer in the backroom. It would be highly unlikely that a piece of that made it into the sandwich, so its likely a manufacturer's problem.
The management team from the sunshine coast genuinely cares about supporting local and have tried to get the company to let them subcontract someone to make their sandwiches, and each time head office told them no, because as a company every store must have exactly the same offerings. Talk about carbon footprint with all the shipping that goes into for the foods... not to mention the number of times the sandwiches risk getting thawed and into the "danger zone".

My advice? Walk down the road and get yourself a sandwich with fresh baked bread and real wholesome ingredients at the Wild.

Nadine Olsen
life keeps going, shit aye

Debra Dee
Pearl's Bakery
And besides anyone can make a better coffee; even McD's

Duane Burnett
Here is that link to the pollution video with the bird eating the plastic in case anyone wants to see it. Its also a subject or two down in my profile notes section.

1 comment:

  1. Its such a shame that franchises have made such an inroad here on the Coast. As new transplants from the City we try to buy as local as we can-
    My son choked on a smoothie cup once and I know how scary it can be to retrieve plastic out of a little ones airway.

    I would love to hear more about the local food directory (both as a consumer and a local business person) available in Mollys Lane! Thanks for the plug :)

    Its always safer to buy food from someone who cares! Eat local!
    Its a nobrainer!



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