Odelia Juniarni thought her three-year-old daughter Evelyn had found a coffee bean in her babyccino when the pair sat down at The Coffee Club in Mascot on Monday. Until she noticed the legs. And head.
"I was horrified when I found it was a dead cockroach," she said.
Ms Juniarni had been a regular patron of The Coffee Club outlet in Mascot.
"We're regulars because they offer free babyccinos when you purchase a coffee," she said. "I just go there because my daughter loves the idea of coffee for kids."
Her routine was rudely shattered on Monday morning by the unwelcome ingredient in her daughter's drink. Evelyn was drinking her babyccino through a straw when she suddenly spat out a mouthful of her drink, showing her mother a dark object. "I thought 'Why does it have legs?'," she said.
Ms Juniarni said she immediately showed a staff member what her daughter had slurped up from her babyccino. The staff member was apologetic and offered to make a replacement one.
She declined the offer, not knowing if the cafe was harbouring more cockroaches in its cups, coffee machine or milk.
After posting about the incident on social media, Ms Juniarni was contacted by The Coffee Club, which expressed regret: "We are horrified to see this and we would like to escalate this immediately."
Ms Juniarni's unpleasant cockroach encounter follows a number of incidents of tainted food in October.
A worm-infested steak was served to a couple at at The Ranch Hotel bistro in North Ryde, while a Newcastle woman posted a video on social media showing maggots squirming on a chicken at a Nando's store in the Hunter region.
Ms Juniarni said she would like a review of food safety at the cafe.
"I won't be going back even for the free babyccino," she said.
A spokesman for Minor DKL Food Group, the franchisor for The Coffee Club, expressed concern about the incident.
"The franchisee of that store has since conducted a complete check of the store, including all packaging, without identifying any further issues," he said. "In addition we have confirmed that pest control is regular and up-to-date in this store. However we take food and beverage safety very seriously and will continue to monitor the situation."
Cockroaches can spread a range of bacteria including salmonella, staphylococcus and streptococcus, and harbour viruses such as the polio virus, according to the Victorian government's Better Health website.
"Ingested bacteria can survive in the cockroach's digestive system, sometimes for months or even years, and are passed in its droppings," the website advises.
"Cockroaches will vomit and defecate on food and it is thought that disease may be transmitted to humans when humans eat food contaminated by cockroaches."
A spokeswoman for the NSW Food Authority said the number of complaints made to councils about foreign objects in food had fallen from 448 in 2014-15 to 399 in 2016-17.
"There is no evidence of food standards slipping in NSW," she said.