The amount of money I throw at Starbucks is kind of embarrassing, so news that My Starbucks Rewards members can try to win free Starbucks for life (plus a swanky 10k gold rewards card) has me super excited. Registered members can play by paying for their drinks with the Starbucks app or rewards card. Every time you buy, you get a chance to win instant prizes or a game piece to put on your board to try to win free Starbucks for life (one free drink or food item per day for 30 years, which is good enough for me).
You have until Jan. 11 to collect game pieces, so if you're at Starbucks as often as I am, make sure to pay with your Starbucks card or the app so you can rack 'em up and increase your chances of winning. — Starbucks
Crystal Pepsi, which was hilariously marketed as a more natural, "pure" alternative to regular soda in the '90s, is back. Well, sort of. If you were crazy for the clear, caffeine-free Crystal Pepsi back in the day, you can download Pepsi's rewards app, Pepsi Pass, and try to win a six-pack. The company plans to give away 13,000 cases of the stuff.
Pepsi Pass users will need 1,000 points to enter the sweepstakes, but Pepsi said it'll be releasing a promo code for 1,000 points on its social media. Crystal Pepsi fanatics have until 11:49 p.m. ET on Dec. 11 to enter to win. So if clear, caffeine-free soda that kind of tastes like Pepsi is your thing, this may be your only hope, because as of yet there are no plans for selling Crystal Pepsi in stores. — Consumerist
I drink approximately 1 billion cups of coffee a day, so news that Nestlé is working on a time-release coffee that would keep your energy up all day has me excited. The new coffee would slowly release caffeine into your body over time, using the same method that extended-release medicines do. Sounds pretty intense!
But what if you actually like the taste of coffee? It would be a bummer to be stuck with just one cup, especially since making coffee and going to cafés are such pleasurable rituals for so many people. And what if someone at the office didn't realize that the coffee in the pot was the extended-release kind and had more than one cup? Would it be dangerous? I think the scientists over at Nestlé will have to answer that question before we know if the idea is even safe, but in the meantime, I'll just keep brewing and buying my coffee throughout the day. — Eater
There have been so many food recalls lately that I feel safer looking at pretty pictures of food on Instagram than I do actually eating it, but new technology could help with that. Instead of waiting until after an outbreak is reported to shutter restaurants or recall food products, a new rapid-test system for E. coli would help discover contamination before food leaves the plant and makes its way into restaurants and stores.
Apparently under the current system, food is tested and then shipped out before the results are in, which seems totally crazy to me. That explains all the recalls, I guess! Let's just hope companies are willing to adopt this new technology once it's available so we all can feel safe buying food again. — Food Poisoning Bulletin
Chipotle has announced that it plans to become the safest restaurant in the world — and it will need to be if it wants to convince us to eat there again (and hopefully soon, because I'm dying for a freakin' burrito bowl). The company's recent E. coli scare that sickened 52 people in nine states was then followed by an outbreak of norovirus that struck over 120 students at Boston College, so the chain clearly has some work to do.
Fortunately Chipotle founder and CEO Steve Ells agrees. In a recent presentation, he said the restaurant chain is making major changes to how it prepares its food. It will implement a new food safety plan he claims will put them 10 to 20 years ahead of its competitors. Additionally, Chipotle is calling on its suppliers of meat and produce to undergo more testing than ever and is prepping produce off-site and putting it through a "sanitary kill step" before hermetically sealing it and sending it off to restaurants.
I just hope it works — Chipotle's business has been negatively impacted by the health scares, so it will take some extreme measures on its part to get people excited about its burritos again. — National Restaurant News
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