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Chobani Yogurt Recall Escalated; 5 Percent of Production Moldy

Image: Chobani Yogurt Recall Escalated; 5 Percent of Production Moldy

By Alexandra Ward   |   Friday, 06 Sep 2013 11:10 AM

Chobani, the nation's top-selling Greek yogurt company, moved from product withdrawal to a formal recall Thursday after some customers reported illnesses from moldy yogurt cups.

Complaints started rolling in last week citing that some yogurt cups were "swelling and bloating." Some customers described their yogurt as "unnervingly fizzy" and one even said theirs tasted like "wine."

"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," the New Berlin, N.Y.-based company said in a statement on its website Thursday. "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."

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Chobani claimed that less than 5 percent of its production — mostly yogurt cups made at its Idaho facility with an expiration date of 9/11/2013 through 10/7/2013 — contained a type of mold that developed because of a lack of preservatives.

The recalled containers are marked with the code 16-012 and expiration dates Sept. 11 to Oct. 7.

The Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that it was in talks with the company about the matter, according to The Associated Press.

"Everybody in the company took this hard," Chobani CEO Hamid Ulukaya told reporters this week. "It shook us up."

The company did not say what kind of health problems were reported or how many people said they got sick, and also did not mention how many actual units of yogurt were being recalled, KJonline.com reported.

Chobani did, however, say that 95 percent of all units in question have already been identified and removed from store shelves.

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