Greek yogurt maker Chobani issues recall — ‘No preservatives’ caused food poisoning

The Seattle Post-Intelligencer reports:

Chobani says it’s recalling some of its Greek yogurt cups that were affected by mold, a move prompted by reports of illnesses by some customers.

The recall comes about a week after the company first started asking retailers to pull the products from shelves, saying some cups were “swelling and bloating.” Chobani had previously said it wasn’t issuing a formal recall.

But the Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday that it was in talks with the company about the matter…

n an interview, Chobani CEO Hamid Ulukaya said it was the company’s decision to move to a recall, not the FDA’s. He said the problem was caused by a type of mold that is commonly found in dairy environments. The issue has been “totally fixed,” he said, noting that the mold became a problem because Chobani doesn’t use preservatives in its products.

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5 thoughts on “Greek yogurt maker Chobani issues recall — ‘No preservatives’ caused food poisoning”

  1. Like bacteria, there are molds and there are molds and they are everywhere.
    Some molds and fungi are beneficial: cheese is a way of preserving milk food through scarcity. Some are harmful, like the mycoplasm that causes pneumonia or the mold that leads to athletes’ foot.
    It sounds like a harmful mold got into Chobani’s production system and then flourished because of the “all-natural” policy. Hey, there’s a reason we developed methods of preserving food to reduce spoilage.
    And of course there are the recalls of “organic” vegetables as well.

  2. Live yogurt *normally* does not need preservatives because the yogurt flora outcompetes pretty much everything. It is so well adapted to the dairy and other dairy-like environments that it is even used to treat vaginal yeast infections, with great success. In fact, yogurt is related to normal human and cow vaginal flora — that’s where we got yogurt from originally, one is lead to believe.

    The incident reported seems to be a quality control issue. Maybe they allowed the surface to dry too much, or made some other cultivation or packaging error.

    There are no better preservatives for yogurt than yogurt itself, unless you want it pasteurised.

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