Chobani And FDA Issue Voluntary Recall Of Chobani Greek Yogurt; Mold Found In Idaho Plant
Chobani unofficially recalled its Greek yogurt Aug. 30 after receiving complaints and finding that its Idaho yogurt plant was contaminated by mold. On Sept. 5, Chobani announced that it is partnering with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a voluntary recall.
Chobani began a voluntary withdrawal after complaints from customers who purchased containers of their Greek yogurt that were bloated, bubbled and made some ill. Chobani reportedly contacted stores, instructing them to take all Chobani yogurts set to expire any time from Sept. 9 to Oct. 7 with the code 16-012 off the shelves.
Chobani insists that only the products matching those expiration dates with that code are part of the recall. The comapany also released a statement saying that they decided to partner with the FDA for an official voluntary recall due to reports of illness.
“Chobani began a proactive and voluntary withdrawal of product, after learning that a small quantity had been affected by a type of mold commonly found in the dairy environment. While this type of mold is unlikely to have ill health effects, due to some claims of illness the company has decided to go from voluntarily withdrawing to voluntarily recalling the limited amount of potentially affected product,” reads a Chobani press release.
Chobani has also reached out to their customers directly to apologize and warn them of potentially infected purchases. Chobani founder Hamdi Ulukaya penned an open letter to his customers on their website that promises refunds or exchanges to anyone in possession of contaminated Chobani yogurt.
“We recently identified mold in a limited amount of product that came from our Idaho facility.
“While this type of mold is common in the dairy environment, particularly when using only natural ingredients that are absent of artificial preservatives, it’s still unacceptable to me and all of our yogurt makers,” Hamdi writes.
According to the FDA, which had been monitoring the withdrawal prior to the recall announcement, the mold is, in fact, normally found on dairy products, but can be harmful depending on the amount consumed. FDA spokeswoman, Tamara Ward, applauded Chobani for making the decision to conduct a voluntary recall.
“That’s a good thing on the part of the company. We encourage them to do voluntary recalls,” Ward told Oregon Live.
According to Chobani, the Idaho plant that produced the contaminated yogurts produces one third of Chobani products and a spokesperson for the company told The Oragonian that the problem at the Idaho plant had been remedied.
“My heartfelt apologies to our friends, fans and consumers who were impacted, as your loyalty and safety is something we cherish and never take for granted,” Hamdi expresses in his letter of apology.
– Olivia Truffaut-Wong