UPDATE: Chobani issued an official recall on some of the yogurt cups affected by mold on Thursday morning, after saying they would not be conducting a recall. On Wednesday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it was investigating the matter following days of complaints from customers who said that affected Chobani yogurt cups had made them ill. Chobani has not yet made an announcement.
Chobani, an American manufacturer of Greek-style yogurt, has asked certain supermarkets across the United States to remove some of its yogurt cups from shelves due to an issue with “swelling or bloating” that may have been caused by mold. The company has not issued a formal recall, opting instead to voluntarily remove affected products over what it says are “isolated quality concerns.”
According to Food Safety News, the move to pull products came on Friday after several complaints from customers who reported purchasing sour, foul-smelling Chobani products, which some claimed had sickened them. Chobani initially moved to privately remove the affected products from stores without disclosing to customers which specific products were flawed, but it has since identified products as those bearing the code 16-012, with expiration dates between 9/11/2013 and 10/7/2013.
In a post on its official Facebook page, Chobani said, “There is nothing more important to us than the quality of our products. We're currently in the process of voluntarily removing some from shelves that simply weren't up to snuff.” The Facebook post offered a link to Chobani’s website, which posted new updates on Tuesday, informing customers that offending products had come from a facility in Idaho and accounted for less than 5 percent of their total production.
The N.Y.-based company added that an investigation into the matter had turned up a “type of mold commonly found in the dairy environment.” On Wednesday, representatives for Chobani were still responding to complaints over Twitter and distinguishing the move from an official recall. Several users complained about “soupy” and “sour” yogurts.
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“We didn’t recall any of our products. We’re voluntarily swapping out products that didn’t meet our rigid standards,” the company responded to one Twitter user who wrote that she was “totally disturbed by this Chobani recall.”
Keith Dailey, a spokesman for the supermarket operator Kroger, corroborated Chobani’s claims in an e-mail to the AP, saying that the product flaw had not been "a food safety issue.”
Chobani's Director of Public Relations, Amy Juaristi, confirmed to the Idaho Statesman on Tuesday that the company is cooperating with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. “It’s in everybody’s best interest for the public to get aware and for us to get the product off of shelves and out of fridges,” Juaristi said. “That’s what we’re trying to do, and equally that’s what the FDA is trying to do.”