This month’s voluntary recall of the popular yogurt product Chobani has resulted in more than 200 complaints from sickened customers, according to a new report from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
FDA spokesperson Shelly Burgess told OregonLive.com Monday that the administration has received 223 complaints following the product recall earlier this month. The number rose sharply from the previous 118 complaints reported by the FDA on Sept. 12. But despite the hundreds of complaints of nausea, stomach cramps, diarrhea and headaches, Burgess claims it is still not known whether the yogurt was the cause of the illnesses. “We’re looking into it," she said. "This is an open investigation."
Chobani first confirmed the recall was due to the mold species Mucor circinelloides, commonly found in dairy products, on its official Facebook page on Sept. 6. “Through extensive testing and expert consultation, we now know that the mold found in the set of products we voluntarily recalled this week is a species called Mucor circinelloides,” said a spokesperson. “We understand your frustration, and we thank you for your patience with us. We’re committed to not only assuring every last affected product is recalled and replaced, but also that every concern from our consumers and retail partners is addressed with the best service possible,” the company later added on its official blog.
According to the report, the Twin Falls, Idaho, company has offered to send affected customers coupons, but a quick glance at Chobani’s Facebook page shows customers aren’t pleased with the method of refunding those who purchased defective products. “Thank you for making it impossible to submit a claim,” wrote Facebook user Brandon Wade of Cypress, Calif., Tuesday. New Mexico customer Carol Stevens Frank had similar sentiments: “Congratulations, you have now lost me and my family as a customer! I haven't heard a word after turning in info on my recall. I won't be eating Chobani anymore.” According to a Facebook spokesperson, the company is currently experiencing “backlog” following the recall and are working “24/7” to respond to all customer concerns.
While some seem perturbed by the recall, others have reached out to Chobani to thank its reps for their assistance. “Thank you for replying back and offering to send coupons my way Chobani! #freeyogurtforall.” wrote Facebook user Daniel Hill of Denver Tuesday. "Thank you, Chobani, for sending me all those coupons in the mail!! I know some others have been having trouble with refunds and such, but you guys got my email and sent these out within two weeks and that's pretty good in my eyes," said Indiana resident and customer Melanie Sullivan Wilbur.
Contact Chobani's customer loyalty team here or by calling 1 (877) 847-6181.