Chobani's yogurt recall prompts federal probe

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The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Wednesday it is investigating Greek yogurt maker Chobani's handling of a mold problem with its product after the company asked some retailers last week to remove yogurt cups from store shelves.

Consumers had complained to Chobani over social media about off-tasting yogurt with bloated containers. Some reported gastrointestinal distress; others deplored the characteristically thick Greek yogurt's "runny" consistency.

The company did not issue a recall notice over the problem, the FDA told Reuters, but instead the company contacted stores directly.

Chobani did not provide a response after multiple emails and calls for comment and its website was down on Wednesday evening, making it impossible to access prior statements on the subject.

On Tuesday, Chobani told Food Navigator, an industry publication, that it had "investigated the cause of the (swelling/bloating) and have identified a type of mold commonly found in the dairy environment."

The private company said the problem had affected less than 5 percent of its production and was limited to yogurt cups produced at Chobani's Idaho plant. The company also has a plant in New York and one in Australia.

Also on Tuesday, Chobani said in a Facebook comment that cups with the code 16-012 and expiration dates between 9/11/2013 and 10/7/2013 would be replaced.

On Friday, it posted on its Facebook page that it was "in the process of voluntarily removing and replacing some products from store shelves that did not meet our rigid quality standards."

Chobani's handling of its yogurt recall is unusual, according to Tamara Ward, a spokeswoman for the FDA.

Ward said the FDA is in discussions with the company to assess the nature of the problem, the level of risk to the public, whether the issue has been contained, and whether Chobani is doing enough to communicate any risk to the public.

So far the company has not issued a formal recall notice since it does not believe there is a safety risk, Ward said, though the product appears to be going bad early.

Ward said that the FDA "would expect" to be told of any potential safety risk with a product. The agency does not plan itself to issue a recall but is currently examining the company's communications and would oversee any recall notice issued by Chobani.

Euromonitor, a sales tracking firm, ranks Chobani, a private company, second-best selling brand in the U.S. Greek-style yogurt market, after Yoplait.

Greek-style yogurt, which is thicker, creamier and often higher in protein that other types of yogurt, now makes up more than 40 percent of the U.S. yogurt market, Reuters has reported.

(Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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Kim M    
Houston, TX  |  September, 05, 2013 at 04:53 PM

as consumer with these product codes, what do we do with them?

Dallas, Tx  |  September, 05, 2013 at 05:17 PM

Well, that explains my stomach upset... I have some left in in the fridge and it is going straight back to the grocery store.

Newport Beach CA  |  September, 05, 2013 at 04:59 PM

I bought Chobani yogurt in Costa Mesa California 2 1/2 weeks ago. My daughter open up the container and the yogurt exploded all over her shirt and her surroundings. She thought the texture of the yogurt seemed different, but started eating it. She thought it tasted rotten. I took a taste and it was awful. We threw it in the garbage and clean up her shirt and the sofa she was sitting on. If I had know there was a problem with the brand, I would have saved the carton.

September, 05, 2013 at 05:15 PM

Same thing, purchased at Costco, Dana Point

Washington  |  September, 05, 2013 at 05:21 PM

Purchased a case of Chobani at a Costco in the Seattle area and had similar issues (bloated container, runny consistency, and nasty taste).

KY  |  September, 05, 2013 at 05:25 PM

Wondering about the 'limit' Chobani is claiming, as I bought Chobani tubes of yogurt for grandkids. The tubes have been being bloated and the yogurt, some of which is runny. Time to double check it. Anyone else with this problem?

Lafayette, LA  |  September, 05, 2013 at 05:31 PM

My wife ate some this morning, finishing the product which she said tasted okay. She did ask when she opened it why the package seemed puffed up? Checked the package and, YEP, 16-012 expires 10-7-13. HEY CHOBANI, how about a comment for people who have ingested the tainted product!!!! Should we be making appointments with our doctors? How about a way to contact the company for concerns.

Connecticut  |  September, 05, 2013 at 05:36 PM

Love Chobani Pineapple yogurt, it's all I eat besides the Oikos Blueberry flavor. Had a cup of Chobani the other day, before this problem was made public & the yogurt tasted & looked fine. I have since checked the lot numbers on my cups and apparently they were not produced in the Idaho plant. Don't know why everyone is so wound up over this event when we have to cope with contaminated Mexican vegetables, beef with e-coli and a host of other food issues that are a direct result of mass production and employing illegal immigrants. Eliminate those two variables and start producing food regionally instead of conglomerates shipping nationwide and a lot of these problems will disappear immediately

Hannah Teare    
Livermore  |  September, 05, 2013 at 05:46 PM

This is why my family doesn't buy the ones with the "fruit on the bottom" label.

September, 05, 2013 at 05:47 PM

I opened one up on Tuesday and when I lifted off the lid, there was a loud popping noise = I had one teaspoon and threw it in the garbage = it tasted very nasty with a wine sour taste.

Kory McCracken    
Nebraska  |  September, 05, 2013 at 05:58 PM

Wow, this just happened to me this week and it was pretty disgusting. Mine had expiration dates of late September. I went to the fridge, snagged a black cherry Chobani and when I went to watch TV yogurt splattered all over my shirt and couch. It was not thick, as usual, but very runny (like generic yogurt). I tried one dab on my tongue and it was bad...almost as though it had fermented and turned to alcohol. I went to grab another one and the top ballooned up and was as tight as a snare drum; the container was ballooned out too. I didn't even try that one. Funny thing is, I set them on the counter to show my wife, but forget that night. The next morning, the yogurt from the one I opened had expanded (like those black worms kids light on the 4th of July) and oozed all over the counter and the one I didn't open actually popped the lid off the container and oozed all over the counter. Nasty, just nasty. Hopefully the FDA gets an explanation...

Twin Falls  |  September, 05, 2013 at 06:21 PM

I had been to the chobani plant and had seen the employees they have in the plant...I would never buy chobani better to stay with Yoplait yogurt..This doesn't surprise me at all..But why did this company not do a recall right away?? Instead just contacting the stores to pull of shelves??? Sounds fishy to me...

Jennifer P    
Tennessee  |  September, 05, 2013 at 06:39 PM

It wasn't mold....My daughter is one of the ones that got sick.I was the one who started the Chobani Buyer Beware due to food poisoning on their Facebook site...Social Media is so important for individuals to get the message out if there is a safety issue for the mass public..Not to discredit a company, but to legitimately advise the general public...We heard a pop as if there was air in the container---could be E coli, I have sent pictures of the lot # to the FDA in my region---the container(s) had a slight bubble--almost like a can, but I didn't notice due to it being in a 4 pack container....

darin beltran    
santa rosa  |  September, 05, 2013 at 06:52 PM

This explains the upset stomach I had a few weeks ago. Shame on you Chobani. If this is in fact true you lost a loyal customer forever!!!

Cave Creek AZ  |  September, 05, 2013 at 06:55 PM

I KNEW IT. I had bought a packaged group of 4. I opened one and it tasted different, not right, not good. It was runny. I threw it and opened another and the lid was bloated. I took a taste and it was not right. I looked at the rest and the lids were puffed. I tossed them out. Figured I got an old batch and was irritated that I paid for them. I opened a few older singles I had and they were too thick, I just tossed them. I just bought 4 new ones and they have been good and right. I am not buying these again until the company get's this right!!!! Good thing I did not get sick after tasting the bad ones.

September, 05, 2013 at 07:20 PM


New Jersey  |  September, 05, 2013 at 07:21 PM

I don't think the company is telling the truth about how long this problem has been going on. I had yogurt in mid July and it was runny and tasted disgusting. There is more to this than they are saying

California  |  September, 05, 2013 at 07:22 PM

Yup, I had one of the rotten ones a couple days ago. Bought in Visalia. When I went back to the store yesterday all the Chobani yogurts were off the self.

Maine  |  September, 05, 2013 at 07:28 PM


San Fran  |  September, 05, 2013 at 07:29 PM

That explains it, after reading about Chobani's recall in the new, i found a cup of this stuff in the trash. It was bloated with black mold. i ate the whole thing, it tasted off. Shame on you all for throwing out the rotten chobani.

Carolyn Pasquarella    
Sunnyvale, CA  |  September, 05, 2013 at 07:33 PM

I was in Idaho last week visiting family and bought a few as they were on sale. I didn't know what to expect but our lid #'s on them fit the recall #'s and 2 of them were eaten. I've emailed and have heard nothing back from them.

ohio  |  September, 05, 2013 at 07:39 PM

Goodness! I eat a Chobani yogurt every day! I was complaining to a friend that the yogurt was runny! Now I know why....I thought they had changed the recipe and was upset. At least I didn't get sick. Better check out the ones in the fridge!

Virginia  |  September, 05, 2013 at 07:48 PM

Purchased mine at Shoppers two days ago. Thought it was funny how the containers were bloated...had never seen that before. My son ate one and commented on how funny it tasted and his tongue was fizzling. I no sooner had the conversation with him and found comments online about issues with the stuff. Thank God I put the containers in a plastic bag cause on my way back to the store to return them, one blew up in the bag! Kinda scary when you think about it how we consumers put our trust in companies to produce a quality and safe product to eat. Just thankful my son is doing well and so far, no problem. It kinda ticks me off to know that Chobani knew of the complaints and sat on it knowing full and well that something was up. Not cool. Not sure I'll buy the product anymore after this.

Arkansas  |  September, 05, 2013 at 07:55 PM

I've just conducted my own investigation and found out that most of you have nothing better to do than set on your fat, bloated butts, eat yogurt and criticize a delicious and tasty yogurt. Obtw, it passed my test. I think I might have another.

J. Green    
South Carolina  |  September, 05, 2013 at 08:23 PM

Last week I purchased 2 of the Chobani Flips and even though they were within the expiration date, my yogurt was bubbling and fizzing. I ate a few bites and it did taste awkward, so I tossed both containers.

Miami  |  September, 05, 2013 at 08:33 PM

It is one of the best tasting Yoghurt in this century. I believe the store temperatures are causing this running, watery and taste problems. These Yoghurt cups must be kept in right cooling temperature. When we had a power outage, all the cups turned watery, they did not taste nice.

Sheena K    
Illinois  |  September, 05, 2013 at 08:41 PM

I am also very dissatisfied with how misleading this situation has been. I agree with others that this problem has been going on for a very long time! I remember over a year ago we had purchased the children's version of this product (a four pack), and when we opened them, they sounded like someone had opened a soda can. When we tasted it, it also tasted like it was carbonated. Very strange. Recently, I purchased five of the pineapple flavored Chobani yogurts, which were dated September 11th, 2013, and when I opened them, they had a layer of liquid on top, and the rest of it looked curdled. When I researched this problem, I read that it was just a quality control issue, that mainly affected the taste, and that's why they were being pulled from store shelves, but it was still safe to eat and not officially recalled. So I ate mine anyways, and ended up totally sick! Now I am hearing there is a mold problem?!?! This is unacceptable.

Lum Loy    
HI  |  September, 05, 2013 at 08:43 PM

Any bloated, puffy, ballooned food container goes in the trash. Do not open, let alone eat.

September, 05, 2013 at 08:54 PM

lmao i did the same thing lol

Tyler  |  September, 05, 2013 at 09:04 PM

is this also the case for the Chobani flips?? I have noticed the ballooned top and a runny consistency on a few of those as well??

September, 05, 2013 at 09:09 PM

This explains why my grandson gets the runs and my stomach gets upsets after eating.

Baltimore, MD  |  September, 05, 2013 at 09:21 PM

Stores in Maryland are pulling Chobani product down today. I saw the 4 pack chobani also being pulled down from shelves.

New York  |  September, 05, 2013 at 09:26 PM

Neet, I agree with you 100%. Pineapple is my favorite too. I don't understand; if a container of any food is bloated and does'nt look right, why would anyone injest it. Checked all of my containers and they are all good. I am eating one right now as I type this comment. LOL. Look before you leap!

New York  |  September, 05, 2013 at 09:26 PM

Neet, I agree with you 100%. Pineapple is my favorite too. I don't understand; if a container of any food is bloated and does'nt look right, why would anyone injest it. Checked all of my containers and they are all good. I am eating one right now as I type this comment. LOL. Look before you leap!

Weatherford, TX  |  September, 05, 2013 at 10:04 PM

Same thing, bought some Chobani yogurt about four weeks ago at a store in Willow Park, TX and the 4 of the 6 containers got bloated after a day in the something was wrong and tossed the stuff. Bought some more about two weeks ago at the same store and had 2 containers do the same thing. Even with the containers sealed I had a funky yogurt smell in my fridge....

OH  |  September, 05, 2013 at 10:14 PM

I recently bought one of the cases of kids tube yogurts, and every tube in there was nasty. I opened one up the day I bought them to give to my son and it was practically water on the inside, so I tasted it and it had a moldy taste to it, I thought it was strange because it wasn't expired or anything, but I didn't really think anything of it so I just threw the whole case away and went and bought a new case which all of them have been fine so far. This is really not that big of a deal, but I was just throwing this out there that it may not just be the cups, I would check the kids tubes too.

Dallas, TX  |  September, 05, 2013 at 10:33 PM

I experienced the same thing today. Thankfully, I had a few bites and had to through away the rest of the product. Yuck! Sadly, it was one of my first tries of this brand/flavor and they lost a customer. Who said Greek yogurt was better anyhow, it's a fad. The fewer the ingredients and the more ingredients you recognize is the product you go with. Canadian...ah, I can't recall the full name right now, but I have always been happy with their yogurt. Tasty, simple, and good for you. Sold in more health concious food stores and not over-priced. This shows lack of respect for the consumer, to allow this product to reach the shelves.

New Jersey  |  September, 05, 2013 at 10:33 PM

So far, there has not been any issue with the ones I purchase in NJ every day...The flips are always runny for some reason though...weird. My husband wants me to switch brands for awhile til this whole mess is dealt with. Oikos doesn't have as good a flavor but the yoplait are pretty good. I won a free case of Chobani, back in April. So I don't want to say anything too bad about I said, not a quality issue around here, but will be playing it safe til the dust clears...

September, 05, 2013 at 11:25 PM

You're an idiot.

September, 05, 2013 at 11:31 PM

I stopped buying Chobani a few months ago, after eating one that was the texture of soup. I couldn't stomach another. This stuff used to be good, but something fishy happened. P.S. Chobani has never made REAL Greek yogurt anyway. Shame that they can get away with calling it that. Should be false advertising.

Northern Idaho  |  September, 06, 2013 at 12:06 AM

I bought a 4 pack at Winco. 2 were "bloated" so I threw them out. I think I will throw the other two out now. Yikes. Don't eat bloated yogurt folks.

September, 06, 2013 at 12:31 AM

Same exact thing happened in my house! I thought our fridge was acting up again, but after we returned the rotten yogurts for new ones and the explosions happened again only with the yogurts, we knew it wasn't the fridge.

Colorado Springs  |  September, 06, 2013 at 12:38 AM

Yeah I'm done with them ,We just threw out seven of ten cups . My wife said one that she had at work was soupy and another blew up in the fridge "smelled really bad". Not a rich man by any means but they can keep my ten dollars as a lesson to myself not to go back down that road again.

Durham,N.C.  |  September, 06, 2013 at 02:04 AM

I just checked my fridge, and they are going back. I should have listened when my Mom said she didn't like the taste.I Still have the reciept, so back it goes.Don't think I will take a chance on this product again....I don't know why it explodes when you open the lid.

live in Peabody Massachusetts  |  September, 06, 2013 at 05:16 AM


live in Peabody Massachusetts  |  September, 06, 2013 at 05:16 AM


live in Peabody Massachusetts  |  September, 06, 2013 at 05:30 AM

purchased at Demoulas in Danvers Massachusetts My purchase was two - four packs, one pineapple and other strawberry. I was addicted to your product. Originally my thought was poor placement of product on refrigerated shelves. Yes, my product tasted off and sour, then the blow up all over the refrigerator. Was not happy cleaning up the mess. Stomach was questionable and did not finish, Strawberry was the worst as it was all mixed through the container...............

Laton, OK  |  September, 06, 2013 at 07:11 AM

Same with me, opened up a cup and noticed it was runny and had some bubbles in it. Thought it was weird but decided to stir it up and eat it anyways. The taste was awful, very bitter tasting alomost like a not quite ripe persimmon. Threw it away and no issues after that, all the other cups were fine. It happens, I still enjoy the yogurt nonetheless.

Connecticut  |  September, 06, 2013 at 08:09 AM

I've had 1/day the past week and all tasted fine.

Lois R    
Concord NH  |  September, 06, 2013 at 08:13 AM

I had the same problem. I have switched brands because Chobani is horrible. I will never eat it again.

NJ  |  September, 06, 2013 at 08:41 AM

Food companies do not have enough disclosure and transparency and the FDA allows them to get away with it. I just wrote General Mills about their Nature Valley Oats n Honey to find out the countries of origin of the ingredients used and the country where packaging was done since the box just says "Distributed" in Minnesota. Corporate response from the person whose initials are HK was that they couldn't give me the answers. This makes it a mystery food then! I bought it in Costco and the barcode was 0 16000 28526 2 which I provided but they still wouldn't answer. This is a food product and the public needs to know what they are eating.

September, 06, 2013 at 09:03 AM

Sounds like they have a real top notch Regulatory group. They probably don't know what the "F" stands for in FDA

Jennifer Winchester    
Sugar Land, TX  |  September, 06, 2013 at 09:17 AM

I had to throw out several containers that were wattery and there was one I purchased at Foodarama that was partically sealed. I also experienced serious bloating in my stomach as well as mild pain. I had purchased more containers from Randalls when I heard about the bad batch. I am disappointed in this company and will no longer purchase any more of their products. Well your job and ask for a "Total Recall!" It is our health we are talking about. Thanks for grabbers!

BellinghamWA  |  September, 06, 2013 at 09:19 AM

Got very ill this week, so much so that I called the MD from my office. She suspected food poisioning and asked if I had the Chobani brand.....and yup I did. Horrible diarrhea, (TMI), and stomach pains, I could barely move. Further TMI, she is doing stool studies to see what is the cause of all of these symptoms. I am still on anti-nausea meds. It is Friday, 5 days after my last Chobani, and I still feel....wait for it, like crap. Take a pic of your Chobani lid with the product number before you throw it away, or at least keep the lid for future reference and/or class action suits!

New York  |  September, 06, 2013 at 09:26 AM

Do you people have no common sense? If a product container is bulging and the contents are fizzy...DO NOT EAT IT! Mistakes happen, are you all perfect?

s. joy    
Charlotte, NC  |  September, 06, 2013 at 11:35 AM

I have really loved Chobani since it came out. It was basically my favorite thing to eat. I was in love with pineapple and mango. But earlier this year it started tasting funny and I had a multi-pak of pineapple and they all were rotten. I had a couple of single ones and they tasted weird and totally different from how they used to be. So I stopped buying them. I really think they changed the formula so they could make more money.

Connecticut  |  September, 06, 2013 at 12:15 PM

Bought the smaller kids cups over a week ago for my daughter at a Costco in Waterbury,Connecticut. The next day all the containers were so swollen and about to burst. Threw them all away. Now a recall.

Kansas  |  September, 06, 2013 at 01:25 PM

I usally eat the peach Chobani but accidently picked up an apricot. When it was opened it popped and squirted. Very runny and the taste was fizzy on my tongue. Didn't get sick tho. Threw it away. However, the peach ones were ok. On my last shopping trip I did not buy Chobani but another brand.

Oklahoma  |  September, 06, 2013 at 01:59 PM

Sheena, you need to STOP eating this crap now!

Oklahoma  |  September, 06, 2013 at 02:01 PM

Diane, just because something taste good doesnt mean it is good for you.

NV  |  September, 06, 2013 at 02:11 PM

Chobani is the most inconsistent crap I've ever seen from a company. It's very sloppily produced (I'm in the dairy automation industry, and I've seen my share of good, bad, and ugly plants). The couple of times I gave it a try - admittedly, before I had seen the abhorrent QC in place - I found the yoguts had an excessive acetic acid component and a gritty mouthfeel that was completely objectionable when graded against a Greek prototype (one that was actually strained with cheesecloth). I wouldn't serve it to a death row inmate. OTOH, Greek style yogurts produced by Wallaby (organic) and FAGE (non-organic) are produced to much higher standards. They're the only ones currently available in the market that I would eat, considering the standards of plant and supplier cleanliness, taste, and their lack of additives/preservatives.

Mountain House, CA  |  September, 06, 2013 at 02:15 PM

Same prob happened from a batch bought at Costco in Tracy, Ca. I was gone for the weekend after I bought it and assumed that my fridge stopped working for some time. Didn't realize it was a company wide issue. It's my families favorite yogi (as the kids call it) so I hope the issues are resolved soon.

Kirkland,wa  |  September, 06, 2013 at 02:27 PM

I smelled an odor in fridge. Checked and found cups bulging or broken. Heard about the problem, put all the cups in bag and put in my trunk and went to the store. I told the cashier I thought there was a recall this am. He didn't know about it but he checked the Internet and it was confirmed, gave me refund. By the time he opened the bag to count them, almost all the covers popped. Glad I put them in a bag.

Eliza E    
Chicago, IL.  |  September, 06, 2013 at 03:19 PM

My daughter's Chobani TUBES were bloated as well, that Ipurchased. About. 2 weeks ago. Thought I may have left them out, but I'm very careful about.that .....I actually contacted the store I purchaed from to see if they've heard of anything. Sorry for.punctuation, phone is acting up.

Arizona  |  September, 06, 2013 at 04:35 PM

I love this yogurt, noticed that it has been runnier than usual, containers puffed up too and yesterday opened one that fizzed in my mouth like hydrogen peroxide, it also tasted terrible. I eat these at least 5 times a week and have been noticing stomach upset for a couple of weeks. All of my yogurt currently in my fridge at home and at work have this product code on them. I am so happy to know this is going on, I will continue to buy them, but it did freak me out a little. I was also happy to know what was making me feel sick to my stomach for so long. Thanks for being proactive and taking care of your customers... I am still a fan

Wylie, TX  |  September, 06, 2013 at 05:21 PM

I bought a large container over a week ago. When I opened it, it was not thick like it normally is. I told my husband this doesn't taste right and it's runny. It didn't smell right either. I still have it. NOT EATING IT AT ALL because I knew something was wrong with it. Now I know why it's like it is. It has the Code # 16-012 and dates. UGH! I will NOT ever buy anymore Chobani brand and might not eat anymore yogurt again.

Tx.  |  September, 07, 2013 at 01:38 AM

Wasted a carton of eggs. Thought it was the eggs that made me ill. Bought diff. eggs and more Chobani lemon. May have had bad eggs before, but these yogurts puffed and the last one opened itself when touched. Then I heard about the recall and remembered some time ago, the 'fizz' others mentioned. Note: I used a cooler with ice to bring these items home from the store.

Oceanside, CA.  |  September, 07, 2013 at 09:57 AM

I personally became very ill. I was down for three days. The sad part is I lost out on a 4 day vacation and I had to take an additional day off work. Your sorry, i get that, but sorry will not give me back the time I lost off work, the concert I had to leave early because I was Ill or the $100.00 taxi ride to get home from the concert because I was too ill to take the train home. I do thank you for the 3 pounds I lost from not being able to eat for 3 days. How could you let this happen. The public trust food providers to provide safe food for consumption. Your company failed and the public suffered because of your failure.

Nevada  |  October, 04, 2013 at 01:41 PM

Hey Connecticut - why is everyone so wound up. Try watching two very young grandchildren scream and cry because their tummies hurt, vomiting, diahrrea, going to urgent care and the emergency room, then ask again why people are upset. You are a moron. To bad you didn't get sick.

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