Chobani is voluntarily pulling yogurt cups bearing lot code 16-012 and expiration dates Sept. 11, 2013 through Oct. 7, 2013 due to a common type of mold found in the cups. Citing a quality rather than food safety issue, the company has not issued a formal recall for the affected cups.
After initially alerting customers to the problem on its blog and Facebook fan page on Aug. 31, Chobani issued an updated statement on Sept. 3, in which it noted that it had replaced the majority of potentially affected cups and asked consumers who purchased the cups to contact the customer loyalty team directly for replacements.
"This is a proactive and voluntary withdrawal we're doing in partnership with our retail partners to ensure that our consumers have only the best experience with our products," a Chobani spokesperson told FoodNavigator-USA.
"We investigated the cause of the (swelling/bloating) and have identified a type of mold commonly found in the dairy environment. The product in question is less than 5% of our production and is limited to cups produced at our Idaho facility, which accounts for only one third of our production capacity."
"Since we are committed to crafting only the best-tasting, highest-quality yogurt made with only natural ingredients, all of our products are free of preservatives."
"This adds a layer of complexity to our production process."
The company also posted a link to the quality-assurance statement on its Facebook fan page, where more than 200 customers have since aired complaints about bloated foil lids; exploding yogurt cups; and fizzy, sour or generally foul-tasting product.
The company responded directly to many of the comments, encouraging customers to use the contact form to issue complaints and request replacement product.