It’s been more nearly a month since Chobani recalled moldy Greek yogurt cups. Now, the number of people allegedly sickened by the products has more than doubled to nearly 300, though food-safety experts continue to reassure worried consmers that the mold at the center of the contamination “hasn't been linked to previous food-borne illness outbreaks.”
According to the Twin Falls (Idaho) Times-News, the Food and Drug Administration has now received nearly 300 unconfirmed reports of illnesses since Sept. 10, when the initial report was at 89.
The FDA inspected Chobani’s Twin Falls yogurt facility in early September, but no food-safety violations were found. A class-action lawsuit against Chobani was filed in California earlier this month on allegations that company had not “taken the proper precautions” that led to the recall.
Chobani’s recall has been a crash course in crisis management, and critics are now accusing the company of sidestepping questions.
In particular, Mike Rozembajgier, an analyst with ExpertRECALL, cited some flaws in Chobani’s response to its crisis:
- The recall was inefficient. Chobani lacked a plan when the product needed to be removed, Rozembajgier claims.
- Inconsistent messaging confused consumers. Initial news reports described customer observations of bulging or exploding yogurt cups, though Chobani insisted it was not a food-safety issue.
- Chobani’s decision to pull away from social media during the recall only further infuriated customers. “Quickly addressing affected parties mitigates the risk of the issue spinning out of control,” Rozembajgier says.