Starbucks' Discontinued Chicken Sandwich Quietly Returned In Spring

Starbucks is finally bringing back its maple chicken breakfast sandwich. The item was originally launched in June 2022 before joining the list of fast food items we sadly lost during that year. However, it seems to have returned as quietly as it left. While the sandwich, which was set to be the newest permanent menu item, received plenty of hype leading up to its original release, it was discontinued in less than a week, with Starbucks claiming it didn't meet the company's quality standards.

In a statement to Food & Wine, a Starbucks spokesperson said the company issued a "voluntary stop sell and discard on the Chicken, Maple Butter & Egg Sandwich" but denied any claims that this was linked to food-borne illnesses like salmonella or listeria. However, customers and employees who tried the chicken sandwich during its five-day run had other thoughts, with many taking to social media to complain about how sick they became after eating it.

Beyond complaints of diarrhea and vomiting, one TikTok user claimed to test positive for a type of food poisoning linked to undercooked chicken known as campylobacter (via New York Post). Of course, Starbucks took quick action, and for most customers, the chain's chicken breakfast sandwich was gone before they even knew it was there. Luckily, it appears to have made a silent return.

For now, the sandwich is only available at select locations

In a statement, Starbucks revealed to Mashed that, "In March 2023, the Chicken, Maple Butter & Egg Sandwich returned to select stores in the southeast region." It's unclear why this rerelease only returned to a specific area, and some employees are seemingly confused about it. One Reddit user stated in February 2023 that Florida and Georgia are the only states seeing the return, though commenters who worked at Starbucks locations in South Carolina and Kentucky claimed to have also received shipments and been trained on the spring launch.

While this quiet spring return seems to have kept social media buzz low, its success could indicate an upcoming national release. While there are many popular fast food breakfast sandwiches on the market, chicken is becoming an increasingly sought-after breakfast option. Starbucks is likely hoping to compete with other major chains like Chick-fil-A and Popeyes, both of which have chicken breakfast sandwiches on their menus.

Starbucks' statement to Mashed also noted, "This sandwich offers customers a new protein variety for our breakfast assortment and combines sweet and savory flavors for a unique breakfast sandwich experience." According to Starbucks' nutrition menu, the sandwich includes a breaded chicken breast on an oat biscuit roll with a scrambled egg patty and maple butter spread. While curious customers in the southeast can try it now, everyone else will just have to hope this isn't another item that Starbucks kicks to the curb.