Mold in Chobani Recall Common In Dairy, Not Likely to Make You Sick

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Earlier this week, Chobani recalled cups of its Greek Yogurt due to presence of a mold that caused consumer claims of altered taste and illness. The company has identified the type of mold as Mucor circinelloides, which officials have stated is not considered a disease-causing organism.

Chobani recalled yogurt products on Thursday, a week after consumers began complaining of finding bloated, swollen containers and foul-smelling yogurt. Some said they'd become ill after eating the spoiled yogurt. The company then voluntarily recalled products produced at Chobani’s Idaho plant.

The recalled product had code 16-012 with expiration dates between 9/11/2013 and 10/7/2013. All flavors of the 3.5-ounce cups, 6-ounce cups, 16-ounce tubs and 32-ounce tubs are included as well as all falvors of Chobani Bite and Chobani Champions cups and tubes, and Chobani Flip containers.

Per spokeswoman Amy Juaristi, 95% of the tainted cups had been identified by Thursday morning and that the problem affected less than 5% of Chobani’s total production.

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Mucor circinelloides is a mold typically associated with fruits, vegetables, and dairy products, says Randy Worobo, an associate professor of food science at Cornell University. It is regularly used for the production of natural flavor compounds that are widely used in the food industry.

The mold can grow on yogurt only when it is kept above refrigeration levels. Swelling and bloating of containers is characteristic signs.

Consumers with the affected product should discard it and contact the company’s Customer Loyalty Team at chobani.com/care or call 877-847-6181 between the hours of 9am and 5pm ET.

A message from Chobani Founder Hamdi Ulukaya on their website states, “I’m sorry we let you down. From the workers in our factories to our slaes teams on the road, there is nothing we take greater pride in than making a perfect cup of yogurt…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.”

References: US Food and Drug Administration, NBC News, Chobani.com

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