Chobani says mold in yogurt does not carry diseaseBy MATTHEW PERRONE
The Associated Press | September 07,2013AP Photo
Chobani says it’s issuing a recall of some of its Greek yogurt cups that were affected by mold. The recall comes after some customers reported illnesses.WASHINGTON — Yogurt maker Chobani said Friday that the mold that triggered a recall of some of its Greek yogurt cups this week is not associated with foodborne illnesses like salmonella or E. coli.
The company identified the mold as Mucor circinelloides, a common species that usually affects fruits, vegetables and other plants. It has also been linked to previous cases of spoiled yogurt.
Cornell University Professor Randy Worobo said on a conference call arranged by Chobani that the mold “should not pose a health risk to most consumers.” Worobo is a professor of food science at the university’s college of agriculture.
Worobo did not test or identify the mold, but agreed to speak as a food safety expert, according to a media spokesman for Cornell University. The university spokeman said he was not paid and has no financial ties to the company.
Worobo said plants typically absorb the mold from surrounding soil, though it can also be found in processing plants. It can grow on yogurt only when it is kept above refrigeration levels.
“It would take hours or days of temperature abuse to result in visible mold growth,” Worobo said.
Chobani spokeswoman Nicki Briggs said the company is still investigating how the yogurt became contaminated. She added that there was no evidence of mold on the products when they left the company’s facility.
Chobani formally recalled more than a half-dozen yogurt varieties on Thursday, a week after it first started asking retailers to pull the products from shelves, saying some cups were “swelling and bloating.” The products have the code 16-012 and expiration dates Sept. 11 to Oct. 7.
Briggs said 95 percent of the affected products have already been pulled from shelves. The company, based in New Berlin, N.Y., said the affected products came from its Idaho facility and represents less than 5 percent of its total production.
Greek yogurt in general has surged in popularity as well, with fans saying they prefer its thicker consistency and relatively higher protein content when compared with the sweeter yogurt varieties that have long been sold in American supermarkets.
The private company had an estimated $244 million in revenue in 2010, according to S&P Capital IQ.
Chobani says customers with the affected code dates should contact its customer service team at care(at)chobani.com to get replacement products.MORE IN National / World BusinessNEW YORK — Target is bringing in an outsider as its CEO for the first time as the retailer fights... Full StoryNEW YORK — For investors, there were few havens on Thursday. Full Story
- Most Popular
- Most Emailed
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Workers on this day in 1984 in a Cheshire, England, peat bog find well-preserved human remains at least 2,000 years dead, born this day in 1843, Robert Todd Lincoln, eldest son of the president, present at three assassinations.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: A fiery pit nicknamed the 'Gate of Hell' in the Karakum desert in Turkmenistan has been burning for 40 years.
- TOMORROW'S HEADLINES TODAY: osh O'Gorman reports on the impact of state budget cuts on state colleges, Rutland Town welcomes Donna Zeller as town clerk, Bryanna Allen in Killington for chili cookoff and Haley talks up the big Shrine game with N.H. and Vt.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Rutland Herald content editor Rich Alcott shares local weather information and easily digestible news tidbits: Teddy Roosevelt makes Americans believe the poor, peace-loving, misunderstood piranha is a vicious, dangerous animal.
- RICHARD'S POOR ALMANACK: Teamsters leader Jimmy Hoffa disappears on this day in 1975, on this day in 2003, the last Volkswagen Type I, the Beetle, rolls off the assembly line in Mexico, Ambrose Bierce on the classifications of homicide.
- TODAY'S WEATHER MINUTE: Seals have figured out fish they like to eat gather in schools around turbines in offshore wind farms. But the environment is not without hazards, maintenance vessels and noise pollution.