Chobani has issued an formal voluntary recall for one batch of its branded Greek yogurt in the US following reports of illness - just days after the company discovered mold in the product lot.
The Greek yogurt manufacturer had been working “voluntarily and proactively” with US retailers since last week to remove and replace the affected units following complaints from consumers that pots had swelled.
The issue has since been attributed to “a type of mold commonly found in the dairy environment.”
Chobani had insisted that it was an "issue of quality, not safety," but today the New York-based firm published a formal recall on its website for products with the lot code 16-012 and expiration dates between 11 September and 7 October 2013.
“While this type of mold is unlikely to have ill health effects, due to some claims of illness the company has decided to go from voluntarily withdrawing to voluntarily recalling the limited amount of potentially affected product,” said a recall notice published on the Chobani website.
95% already removed
According to Chobani's recall notice, the majority of the batch, which was manufactured at the company’s Twin Falls plant, has already been pulled from shelves.
“Today Chobani Inc issued a voluntary recall of a small quantity of product produced at the company’s Idaho facility,” the notice said.
“Over 95% of the units in question have already been identified and removed from retailer shelves.”
“No other Chobani products are involved in this voluntary recall,” it said.
It also urged consumers who have already purchased products from the batch in question to “discard” them.
“Sorry we let you down”
Commenting on the recall, Chobani co-founder and CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, issued a personal apology to consumers.
“I’m sorry we let you down,” he said.
“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," Ulukaya added.