After A Delay, Chobani Issues Food Recall for Greek Yogurt
On Wednesday, September 3rd, the Food and Drug Administration said that Chobani, manufacturers of a popular Greek yogurt, have agreed to issue a food recall for their products, after numerous customer complaints.
The previous week, Chobani asked retailers to begin removing certain varieties of Chobani’s Greek yogurts from their shelves, but the company said specifically that they were not issuing a food recall for the yogurt. Now, however, the FDA said they would investigate the manufacturer, and the company has agreed to recall their yogurts due to complaints about the consistency and flavor. Some customers even reported gastrointestinal distress after ingesting the yogurt.
Reportedly, customers complained to Chobani over social media, and sometimes included pictures of yogurts that tasted strange or had bloated containers. Some customers complained that Chobani’s characteristically thick Greek yogurt was “runny.” Some customers reported that the yogurt tasted like “wine,” with a yeasty or fermented flavor. Some customers became ill after eating the yogurt. One customer reported that the yogurt was “unnervingly fizzy.”
On Friday, August 30th, Chobani posted on their Facebook page that the company was “in the process of voluntarily removing and replacing some products from store shelves that did not meet our rigid quality standards.” However, it did not issue a voluntary or formal food recall, and instead contacted sellers directly. They said that the yogurts were not up to their quality standards and were “going bad early.”
On Tuesday, Chobani told Food Navigator, an industry publication, that it had “investigated the cause of the (swelling/bloating) and have identified a type of mold commonly found in the dairy environment.”
According to Tamara Ward, a spokeswoman for the FDA, Chobani’s handling of the food recall is unusual. She said that the FDA is discussing the current food recall and its potential spread with the manufacturer.
Chobani said in a Facebook comment that cups with the code 16-012 and expiration dates between 9/11/2013 and 10/7/2013 would be replaced.
The affected products in the food recall include a number of different size containers:
— Chobani 6-ounce cups
— Chobani 16-ounce tubs
— Chobani 32-ounce tubs
— Chobani 3.5-ounce cups
— Chobani Bite 3.5-ounce cups
— Chobani Flip 5.3-ounce containers
Chobani CEO Hamid Ulukaya said in an interview that the problem was with a specific type of mold that is commonly found in dairy environments, and unfortunately grew in the yogurts because the company prides itself on not using preservatives. He added that the issues has been “totally fixed,” and the company was responding to customers online.
“Everybody in the company took this hard,” Ulukaya said. “It shook us up.”
Chobani spokespeople said that most of the affected containers had already been pulled from shelves. Ulukaya did not say how many customers were reported ill, but he said he believed it to be a small number. He said that the affected products were manufactured in an Idaho facility, which makes up less than 5% of the company’s total production.
The Strom Law Firm Protects Citizens Harmed by Delayed Product or Food Recalls
The attorneys at the Strom Law Firm keep a close watch on recalls of dangerous and defective products in the US. We aim to protect our clients’ health and safety, and hold manufacturers to the highest possible standard of safety. Product recalls are especially important because defective drugs, medical devices, food, and toys can seriously injure or even kill consumers. If you or a loved one have experienced severe, life-limiting side effects from a defective food, product or drug, and believe that your pain stems from a product, drug, or food recall that came too late, you may be entitled to compensation. The Strom Law Firm can help. We offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your case, so contact ustoday. 803.252.4800