Sept. 6, 2013
Randy Worobois a professor of Food Science in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and a leading expert on food spoilage, and microbial food safety and quality. He comments on Thursday’s announcement of a voluntary recall by Chobani of some Greek yogurt products due to reports of mold contamination.
“Mucor circinelloides is a species of mold commonly associated with fruits, vegetables and dairy that has been reported to cause spoilage like swelling and bloating in yogurt. It is not considered a disease-causing foodborne microorganism.
“This mold should not pose a health risk to most consumers. Very rarely, it can act as an opportunistic pathogen, but not through food and usually only for people with compromised immune systems through inhalation. The organism is regularly used for the production of natural flavor compounds that are widely used in the food industry.”
Sep 04, 2013 02:54 PM EDT By Staff Reporter
Greek yogurt maker Chobani has landed in hot water after customers complained over a foul taste and reported feeling ill after eating Chobani yogurts that reportedly contained mold.
Chobani notified retailers Friday, telling them to pull 15 flavors. It did not issue a formal recall, however. Instead, it has been responding to customer complaints via its Facebook page, asking people to email the company.
The (Portland) Oregonian said customers complained their yogurt tasted odd and some containers were bloated. Those who consumed the yogurt complained of vomiting and diarrhea. Chobani’s Facebook page is filled with testimonials from irate customers who are calling for a boycott, and some commenter’s are saying their posts have already been deleted.
According to Amy Juaristi, a Chobani spokeswoman, the affected yogurt are only those made in one of Chobani’s facilities in Idaho. The recalled products are only five percent of Chobani’s overall production. The yogurt maker is working with its retailers to eliminate certain yogurts from grocery shelves. These cups are those labeled with the code 16-012 and those whose expiration dates range from Sept. 11 to Oct. 7. Chobani has not yet stated how many cups or varieties have been contaminated.
Juaristi estimated only about 5 percent of the company’s overall inventory was tainted and it was all made at the company’s facility in Twin Falls, Idaho. She did not say where the tainted yogurt was sold.
Meanwhile, the Food and Drug Administration has been notified though it rarely orders a product recall. Instead, the FDA usually orders companies to contact stores to remove the products and make public any suspected problems.