Chobani Greek yogurt founder Hamdi Ulukaya has issued a public apology via the company's website for selling yogurt containers that were tainted with mold. On September 5, Oregon Live reported the recall of all Chobani containers marked with the code 16-012 and that have expiration dates Sept. 11 to Oct. 7. The company has offered to either replace the product or refund the customer's money.
This recall actually started very quietly about a week ago when Chobani asked retailers to pull the products from their store shelves. They failed to warn the general public until Tuesday, after customers started reporting illness. The recall affects many different sizes and styles of the Chobani product and any consumers who have purchased recently are urged to check their containers.
Apology letter from Hamdi Ulukaya found on the Chobani website:
Dear fans and customers,
I'm sorry we let you down.
From the workers in our factories to our sales teams on the road, there is nothing we take greater pride in than making a perfect cup of yogurt.
Chobani was created to make great yogurt that is accessible to everyone, so I take it very seriously and personally when we don't deliver for our fans and consumers.
We recently identified mold in a limited amount of product that came from our Idaho facility.
While this type of mold is common in the dairy environment, particularly when using only natural ingredients that are absent of artificial preservatives, it's still unacceptable to me and all of our yogurt makers.
Over the past few days, with the help of our retail partners, we proactively withdrew product from store shelves and I decided to voluntarily recall the limited amount of remaining product to be extra careful and cautious.
My heartfelt apologies to our friends, fans and consumers who were impacted, as your loyalty and safety is something we cherish and never take for granted.
We have worked round the clock to fully fix the issue and have been shipping fresh product to stores.
In the meantime, if you purchased yogurt with the code 16-012, Best By: 9/11/2013 - 10/7/ 2013 please discard and contact our Customer Loyalty Team at chobani.com/care to get replacements or refunds.
Thank you very much for your understanding and support.
The company has not revealed what type of mold was found in the Chobani containers but did say that it was common in dairy products and that their all-natural style of processing makes it more prevalent. Contaminated yogurt containers were said to bloat and make a hissing noise. Several customers reported that the product made them sick.
While Chobani officials insist that the Greek yogurt recall was voluntary, the FDA has become involved. They are reportedly in contact with the yogurt manufacturer but it is unclear if they will launch any sort of investigation. The contamination is said to have occurred in their Idaho facility, which produces a very small percentage of Chobani products distributed in the United States.