[Editor's note: The story has been updated to include developing new recall information.]
Chobani, the maker of a popular brand of Greek-style yogurt, announced that the company has voluntarily recalled some of its yogurt from store shelves in response to customer complaints about swollen or bloated packages. A statement released Thursday indicates that some instances of illness have been reported.
The New Berlin, New York-based company released a statement Wednesday on its blog saying in part:
"Our thorough investigation has identified a type of mold commonly found in the dairy environment. The product in question is less than 5% of our production and is limited to products produced at our Idaho facility, which accounts for only one third of our production capacity."
The company initially worked with retail partners to voluntarily withdraw the majority of potentially affected products, which bear the code "16-012" and have expiration dates between September 11 and October 7 of this year. A voluntary recall is now in effect.
Consumers who have purchased the affected yogurt are advised to contact Chobani's Customer Loyalty Team directly at chobani.com/care or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate replacements.
Strained, Greek-style yogurt has increased wildly in popularity in the United States over the past several years. Recently the U.S. Department of Agriculture kicked off its National Greek Yogurt Pilot Program, offering it as part of school meal programs. The creamy treat offers higher nutritional benefits than traditional yogurt with less sugar, carbohydrates, sodium and lactose, as well as an increase in protein per ounce.
The ballooning demand for the dairy option has created a $2 billion industry, and raised some controversy about the waste products potential effects on the environment.
USDA launches Greek yogurt program in national schools
Whey-ing Greek yogurt's environmental impact
Ok so I love Chobani yogurt and was highly dissapointed when 4 of the yogurt I purchased either tasted wrong or was swelling like the container would burst. Now understand, I ate at least one 6 oz container a day. When I read about the problem I threw out what I had left. Days later they did a recall. Since I already threw them out I had nothing to return. I wrote Chobani and was thrilled when I received numerous coupons for free replacement yogurt. I thought WOW now I am a loyal customer for sure! Well imagine my scenario at the spermarket. I perused the Chobani shelves excited to try some varieties I had never had. Did my other shopping and went to check out. Guess what. The coupons they sent me are useless. I was mortified. They had the manager look at them and the bookeeper who handles all the coupons. This was a large Vons, not a Mom and Pop market. If you look at the coupons from an angle they say void all over them REALLY? The people behind me in line where held up. It looked like I had counterfitted the coupons! Thanks Chobani, I'll be eating Fage eveyday from now on!
Yes, I also ate the choibani & threw away the labels after eating. I had purchased the choibani mid Aug. than some dated from that Exp.Sept.30.. I was so sick with a respertory infection for 3 weeks .Medicine was $110.00. I have never had an infection like this before. I notified Choibani, but have yet to hear anything. NOT EVEN VOID COUPONS. I have now switched to FAGE .Choibani shut down except for the owner feeling so sorry & corrected the matter.
Just looked up Choibani, New website & PR.
Also coupons are void in quite a few states. One is New Jersey.
I was able to purchase a 4 pack of tainted Chobani Greek Key Lime yogurt at Ingles in Peachtree Corners, Ga. code 16-012 Oct 01. When bringing it to the store manager attention he claimed he had not heard of the nation-wide recall. Shame on Chobani and Ingles for not doing a better job with their known tainted foods.
OMG. This just happened to my GF a few weeks ago. This yogurt was puffed up. She ate one and said it tasted a bit funny, but maybe it was because it was greek. Now I see this.....
Chobani, although labeled "Greek" yogurt, is actually a Turkish brand.
Just the other day I was walking past the dairy case and yogurts were exploding left and right. I'm luck I got out alive – watch yourselves out there, people!
Why would anyone eat anything that didnt 'look right'?
The story was bad but the comments stories were worse. I swear I'm getting afraid of food. This company finally announces problems with it's yogurt after they know most of it was eaten or thrown out. Based on multiple stories it made a lot of people sick. They make excuses but apparently the real problem was temperature control which is unacceptable. They are definitely on my long list of products to avoid.
It's not as bad as you think. Don't let fear take over. There are many "fear factors" at work here, which are leading many people to associate unrelated occurrences with their consumption of yogurt. Remember Occam's Razor: the simplest explanation is the likeliest: the recall was triggered by a review of the manufacturing line data, and the recall involves all the suspect "run time", and probably then some.
The yogurt made me sick as a dog for 3 weeks. period. all this ridiculous talk about people not being able to connect the yogurt with being sick is so nonsensical. why are you reading and posting to the story if you don't even have anything relevant to say other than to critique people's experiences. I stopped eating the yogurt thrusday and have been 100% fine since friday. It was clearly the yogurt printed with the number of the contaminated batch. I have told every person I know to never buy the product of this disrespectful company.
If you believe that, then there is a lot you need to learn about business. The recall was done because of numbers and statistics. If from the data they got a % of people got sick from it (whatever that number is) then they do a recall. If it doesn't hit that number, then they just ignore the problem. Its all about numbers for them, it has nothing to do with looking at the manu. line of supply chain.
Actually, despite the anonymity of a public comment board, I can say I know a lot about this. I'm an undergrad in Public Relations with an MBA, and 12 years of food manufacturing experience (first as R&D then as marketing).
This isn't the 1970s and the Ford Pinto anymore. While I think Chobani was late to the recall, I don't think they would have left anything to chance afterwards. The founders of Chobani are thoroughly modern brand managers. Chobani hires the best and brightest brand managers. They know that social media has raked companies over the coals for irresponsibly-handled recalls. Ever since Toyota's pedal problem and the spinach recalls of 2007, the gold standard for food recalls is to do it once, and get it over with.
It's possible Chobani is in the process of screwing up royally. However, given that the company publicly subscribes to the highest ethical standards and practices holistic stakeholder management, I don't think so.
The owners of this company should be jailed.
?? What for? jailed for manufacturing food? Believe me, this product is probably a lot safer and tightly controlled than anything at a farmer's market. say what you will about processed food, it's the absolute safest in the world. Even with the occasional recall.
I am not a regular yogurt eater, However I had some of this yogurt at a business meeting and days later I came down with a sever rash that has lasted for over 4 weeks. I am certain it was from mold yet, the yogurt was puchased in late July and only now do they begin to pull the Yogurt off the shelves. I believe there is a lot more to this story than we are being told and I believe the manner the company has handled this issue has been irresponsible. I will NEVER eat one of their products again and I truly believe IU should be compensated for my 4+ weeks of extreme discomfort.
Rod, it all depends on where your rash was. If it was on your skin and it lasted four weeks (obviously wasn't hives from an allergic reaction), it wasn't from the yogurt unless you smeared the yogurt over yourself for someone else to lick off. Was this the case? Did you go to see a physician about your rash? What did they diagnose and how did you treat it? I think it's likely you had an outbreak of something (maybe pathogenic, maybe autoimmune) that was completely unrelated to any possible yogurt contamination. Life is full of surprises and I really wish people would stop trying to pin blame and collect "compensation". Grow a pair and deal with your rash.
Do give you some context, I run 5 miles a day and have been sick all of 2 days in all my 45 years of living. I eat healthy and am firmly aware of what I can and cannot eat. In response to your question the rash was diagnosed as "Pityriasis Rosea" which as described by the doctor comes from exposure to mold. I was advised to treat it using antihistamines and to use Head and Shoulders as a body wash. This has worked however because I do have sensitive skin, it has left visible marks on my body. I am not in the habit of using food items outside of their intended purpose so the idea of smearing it on my body is absurd. My issue was not that it caused a rash, my issue was in the handling of the problem. I ate the yogurt in late July (the codes checked out) and they are just issueing a recall on Sept. 6., just 5 days prior to the expiration date on the product. The handling of this was irresponsible because from all the reported cases of problems (see this blog) they have only now began to address this issue. Companies need to realize thats its OK to come out with a new product on the market and creat a profitable segment of the market for themselves, but that also comes with a responsibility which can only be put to the test in how you handle problems in the market. In this respect, they failed miserably.
Some dishes require us to cut up the chicken (e.g. cube the meat) before we start cooking. So we are supposed to work with the raw chicken without washing it?
I think you're commenting on the wrong story.
However, I'm going to assume you're talking about the articles that have come out against washing chicken. I agree with them. Rinsing chicken is basically spraying germs all over your kitchen. It's easier to just handle it straight out of the package and prep it. Once you cook it any bacteria are killed off anyway, washing doesn't really do anything beneficial.
If you insist on it, though, use your faucet at a very low setting, to keep all the nastiness inside the sink.
We purchase many of the 3.5 size-problems seemed to be most with the raspberry/chocolate-in Austin Tx, some started bulging and also some flip ones-threw all of them out after noticing a non-bulging one very bubbly...anyway-may have experienced more mold sinus reactions. Fortunately-for other reasons-we did eat the rest yet. threw out 11 cartons today. reimbursements please.
I just ate one of the bloated yogurts because I like to live on the edge. Hopefully I will be hallucinating soon.
All the ones that made me sick were bubbly.
After the first bubbly yogurtmade you sick, you should have had the sense to stop eating them. Common sense. People are lacking Common sense these days. I blame google.
Plain, no-flavored, full-fat yogurt usually has a minimum of ingredients.
Start removing fat, and stuff is then added to stiffen it up. While the lactose ratio gets higher.
Add fruits & sugars & whatnot, and other stuff gets added in.
The carmine - bugs - also appears in ruby red grapefruit juice,so be careful of it!
We had about 3-4 packages of Chobani swell up and then "explode" in my refrigerator over the weekend. I purchased mine in San Diego.
Me too! I purchased at Ralph's Downtown San Diego! I guess I should toss them (3) before I have a mess to clean up! LOL
I see now. These are terrorist Yogurt bombs.
on tuesday I eat a chobani yogurt, then I eat my lunch, inmediatly after star feeling so bad with refluid, really bad, I was sick about 5 hours, I through was the lunch, but next day a eat the chobani by it self, and I has the same exactly effect,, really really sick I feel like going to explode,very hard to breath, and last nigth I hear the news,,wow you sould be very carfull with yougort, is the most poisen food ever..
About 1 year ago, I had a strawberry yoghurt that visibly had mold. I contacted the company and they told me that it was not refrigerated correctly during shipment. I have not purchased Chiobani after that because I did not believe their excuse (the mold was on the strawberries not the yoghurt) and was a bit annoyed that they never offered to replace this purchase that is more costly than most brands. Apparently, they did either did not take it seriously or were covering up something. It appears that this is an ongoing problem that could have been fixed long ago.
Was staying with my Mom & we bought some Chobani Bites recently. It was kind of runny but I never had that type/those flavors before, so I ate some of them anyway. I did have some gastrointestinal distress during the same time frame. We have 3 of the 8 little containers left – I think a friend visiting Mom may have also eaten some. The lot # is the same as that of the recalled yogurt, but the dates are 9/1 and 9/8.
I'm wondering if the contaminated yogurt includes ones with earlier expiration dates than those reported. I should have gone with my initial reaction to the yogurt I ate, instead of convincing myself that it was okay.
Someone should look into batches with the same lot #, of earlier dates.
I've come across Chobiani yogurts with the bloated packages sporadically for months. Seems like this porblem is more widespread than they are announcing (or than they realize)
I had 2 runny ones a few months ago! I tossed them in the trash b/c I get grossed out if things don't look the way they should!
I had 2 reeeeeally runny ones a month or so ago that I tossed b/c they were just nasty looking ! This week they didn't seem 'right' but ate anyway! No wonder I haven't been feeling well.
I had two runny ones too. Metamucil fixed that problem right up.
I'm shocked reading all this, especially your experience with the bites, because I had to throw away a pack of the bites for the same reason last week. It was the raspberry chocolate and it tasted like ranch dressing run-off from a salad, no joke, and it was soupy and nasty. ugh.
Throw out the remaining products and contact the company.
I had a 'bloating' container of the Chobani, and I threw it out because I know that's a bad sign when it comes to food. I had a second container that I ate... and it may or may not have affected me (I have GI issues normally, so it may have made them worse). Nevertheless, I just checked the ones in my fridge, and they look fine.
If you have bloating ANYTHING in a package, throw it out. Swollen cans of food, for instance, can be indicative of botulism.
Guess that's why it's called bacteria pudding.
Any info on taking the recalled products back to the store for exchange?
I make my own at home. Problem solved.
Sure. 'Cause your kitchen is cleaner than a corporation that spends millions on production facilities and has food safety experts on staff, and because your sanitary procedures exceed theirs.
Please, give me a break. The vast majority of food-borne illnesses occur because home kitchens and cooks are terrifyingly bad at observing even the simplest food safety processes.
Just purchased a carton this AM with code 16-012 and use before Oct 14 date at Fred Meyer in Everett, WA Taking it back right now !
Wow! I have been so sick for the past 3 weeks with serious stomach issues and I have been eating this stuff every day. Going to the doctors today!!!
Don't worry. This too shall pass.
I too had been eating it daily, since I bought a batch a week ago. It's not from their 'bad' batch but I was sick to my stomach. Once I found out about the recall I quit eating it, and (surprise, surprise) I recovered fully. This isn't just 'swelled' yogurt, it's a mold infestation in their Great Falls facility. It seems people have been complaining about it for weeks and many people have been ill.
What type of mold was it? did not see that listed anywhere..where i work, we test for 3 different molds
I was poisoned a few months ago by a different brand of yogurt than is mentioned here; but it was horrible. There was NO visible indication of anything wrong, no swelling, discoloration, or texture watery, etc. In fact, the yogurt was delicious. But immediately after consuming it, I experienced extreme abdominal pain, bloating, and a fatigue so great I could not even call my doctor, never mind go to a doctor. I was sick in bed for more than 48 hours, had a fever and so on. The manufacturer was very concerned and since I am a food safety professional, among other things, we talked at great length and they tested the product. So yogurt can cause severe problems, ironic since it is suggested to help with digestion.
So what was the problem?
Although an investigation was conducted, if a problem was found, they did not tell me. I had assured them I was sincerely trying to help them and was not looking to sue them or anything like that..... but any company will naturally be cautious.
I believe that yogurt, in general, is a healthful food and that something may have happened in transit from the manufacturer to the final store; many things can happen to food in the distribution chain, and so even if the manufacturer has made and tested the product, once it goes out the door, it is no longer tested; so it is important for consumers to be educated in what to look for.
This case is a mystery because I have more than the usual knowledge of what can go wrong, but there were NO signs of any trouble that I know about in the product I ate......perhaps some unfamiliar organism got in and affected me.
I did not stop eating yogurt, but I admit to being much more cautious.
Please see my other post about warning signs, so at least the more usual precautions can be taken.
You, being in the health business and all know that there is a period of time between consumption of a pathogen and the illness brought on by it. To say to ate something and immediately got sick from it says you become ill from something else and not the product to just consumed, unless it was rat poison...
You are incorrect. You can get immediately sick from the toxins produced by mold or bacteria in tainted foodstuffs.
Thank you for correcting this common misconception. Although it is true that many kinds of food poisoning do not manifest the symptoms for hours, as you say, some hit home right away.
In other words, you have no idea what made you sick, but refuse to admit that it couldn't possibly have been the yogurt even though the onset of food poisoning normally takes many, many hours.
I had a few of the tubs in my fridge and hopefully they answer my email soon. I love Chobani and will continue to eat it but glad it was not just me. I thought my multi-pack was a little 'off' so I stopped eating them. I'll switch brands for a week or two, then go back.
How can you tell if yogurt goes bad? Tastes the same.
Beware of any container that is what the FDA calls a "swell": meaning the lid, esp. , since it is made of thinner material than the cup, is straining upward, is curved upward as if there is gas in the container. The lid should not be under pressure from within.
Beware of a thin, runny texture to a product that is normally creamy or even a little "stiff", as Greek yogurts are.
Beware if you see a liquid separated from the yogurt.
Beware of any discoloration of the yogurt.
Any one of these things can signal a problem of some sort, they may not all occur.
I was at a friends house last week and they offered me a Chobani ... quite insistently thinking I might be hungry. I refused numerous times because I wasn't hungry. Glad I didn't eat it ...
i was at a friends house one time and i farted.
The chicken story is really stupid. Why would anyone splash like that?
I had been eating Chobani yogurt every morning for breakfast and had noticed in the past month that it was especially runny but never noticed a bad smell, and I have a very sensitive nose, so I ate them anyhow. But then I noticed some of the Chobani Bites containers in my refrigerator that were "bloated" so I threw everything out. Chobani has been my favorite Greek yogurt for a couple of years I hope they fix this problem.
Completely misleading headline.
Its not the mold that really bothers me but the red color is from BUGS? EWWWWWW! Carbine? I am really grossed out right not. I hope vegetarians are aware of this. Gross!!!
A lot of foods colored red are from insects (most notoriously Red Velvet Cake). Sometimes you just don't want to know!
Lest we not forget the Starbucks Story
LOL you will eat potentially deadly mold, but not a natural, safe, sustainable red dye that's been used for thousands of years? You do realize how ridiculous that sounds.
Relax, go read about how many pounds of insects you swallow in your life time while sleeping
I'm certain you've been eating the natural food coloring all of your life without having any ill effects. Americans are so picky.
I actually had a couple of these containers of Chobani with the bloated lids in my refrigerator last week. They were among several I had bought a few days earlier on sale at Walgreens. Upon opening the first, I could immediately tell something didn't seem right, so I washed it down the sink. After opening the second one, I did the same. My original intent was to return the containers to the store in exchange for 2 fresh ones. Unfortunately, the following day I began coming down with a bad cold which I'm only now getting over. I can only imagine how much worse of an illness may have resulted had I actually eaten that bad yogurt!
I want that 30 seconds of my life back.
Says the guy who took an extra minute to log in and write a reply comment to tell about how valuable his 30 seconds are.
Misplaced sarcasm, dingus. Not everyone accesses CNN the same way. New comment shows up at the top of the list, click 'n' read. However straightening out your nonsense was a great stress reliever. Thanks.
Cool story, Bro.
If you ate that yogurt maybe that buggy stuff would have killed your cold germs and you wouldn't have a storyo.
It's not a problem at all if you cut cow's milk diary out of your diet. Goats & sheeps is where it's at!
right from the teat, no doubt.
How come the Greek yogurts, like Chobani, found in US grocery stores have gum and pectin in them? Isn't real yogurt naturally firm without the need for thickeners?
Is there a major brand of yogurt made that doesn't use thickeners like pectin, gum or gelatin?
What? The plain Greek yogurts including Chobani, Stonyfield Farm, and even the store brands do not have anything extra in them, just milk and cultures. (I eat them regularly and read labels carefully.) They may add extras when they they gussy it up with sugar and flavorings - I avoid those so don't know - so just don't buy those varieties, buy plain and add your own fresh fruit.
Go to their web site and get your glasses out honey. You'll be surprised.
I was wrong. I put my glasses on and went to several stores looking at bulk yogurt ingredients. Chobani, Stonyfield Farm do not have any added thickeners. Thanks for pointing that out.
I agree on buying plain yogurt in bulk and adding your own fresh fruit or jams. The stuff passed off as fruit in yogurt these days is very sad.
Yogurt is very easy to make. When I ate it every day I made my own and it was leagues beyond what is sold in stores today.
The 'yogurt" sold in most grocery stores today, "Greek" style or otherwise, bears about as much resemblance to actual yogurt as coffee whitener does to cream.
Well, you must realize there is indeed a definition of "yogurt", and it encompasses all those products. Yogurt texture runs across a wide spectrum. As long as it's cultured milk within a certain type of process, it's yogurt.
of course, there's the "No True Scotsman" argument, which I'm afraid is becoming more common among foodies these days...
I eat Oikos Vanilla regularly, and the ingredient label mentions 'modified corn starch', but no pectin or gelatin.
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