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Starbucks Launches Probe in 5,400 China Stores Over Expired Food

A Starbucks in Sanlitun, Beijing.

A Starbucks in Sanlitun, Beijing.

Photographer: Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

Coffee giant Starbucks Corp. has ordered a full inspection of every branch in China after undercover reporters discovered staff in two of its outlets using expired ingredients.

The coffee chain vowed a zero-tolerance policy on food safety after the state-backed Beijing News reported that two outlets in the city of Wuxi violated standards. In footage released Monday, staff were seen removing an expiration date sticker from a bottle of chocolate sauce and replacing it with a new one printed with a later date. In another store, out-of-date pastries and cacao nibs were found for sale.