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Starbucks' flavored drinks lose Kosher certification

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A top company in Kosher certification has dropped some Starbucks drinks from its acceptable consumption list.

The Baltimore Sun reports Star-K said this month it's dropping drinks with "syrups, sauces, toppings, powders, soy or almond milk" after the coffee behemoth ended an expanded kosher certification program with the Baltimore-based company. Starbucks' Americanos, espressos, cold brew coffee and iced lattes remain on Star-K's kosher list.

Rabbi Zvi Holland oversees Star-K's certification of Starbucks. He says the Seattle-based chain teamed up with Star-K to create a compliance program in late 2015. He says he thinks Starbucks ended it because "it's hard for them to stick to."

A Starbucks representative said it had curtailed a two-year pilot program in some New York and New Jersey stores. 

"At the conclusion of the test, we decided to sunset the program," the spokesperson told the newspaper in a statement. "We are always evaluating programs that are locally relevant to our customers and in the neighborhoods where we do business and have nothing further to share at this time."

An online petition titled "Make Starbucks Kosher Again" calls for the reinstatement of the compliance program. It had amassed more than 9,000 signatures by Tuesday morning. 

"Many of the drinks we have been enjoying like Frappuccinos and Caramel Macchiatos will no longer be confirmed as Kosher," the petition says. "This means that Orthodox Jews are no longer able to consume MANY of the Starbucks products we have been enjoying since this new program started a little over two years ago."

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