UPDATE (9/3, 10:00 Pacific): Chobani has told Food Safety News that the affected product bears the code 16-012, with expiration dates ranging from 9/11/2013 to 10/7/2013. The article has been updated to reflect this information.
Greek-style yogurt maker Chobani has reportedly asked various grocery retailers in the U.S. to pull its yogurt cups from shelves over “isolated quality concerns” stemming from customer reports of foul-smelling, sour yogurt, which some customers have alleged sickened them.
The company has not issued a formal recall and has not made clear which of its products are affected by the quality concerns. (Update: the affected product bears the code 16-012, with expiration dates ranging from 9/11/2013 to 10/7/2013.)
“We have not issued a recall, but rather are working closing with select retailers to replace product that does not meet our rigid quality standards,” Chobani wrote on its Facebook page.
Chobani said the affected product does not pose a food safety concern.
When products are deemed defective but do not pose a safety risk to consumers, they may be removed from store shelves as a market withdrawal. Recalls are issued when the product could cause harm.
A Food Safety News reader wishing to remain anonymous wrote in to say they had purchased a number of Chobani cups from a Safeway store in Oakland, Calif., and found several problems, including bloated cups and punctured foil covers. One cup, pictured above, had a punctured cover with contents bubbling out the top.
A manager at that Safeway store told Food Safety News they removed all of their Chobani products from shelves on the morning of September 1. The reader said they purchased yogurt there on August 24.
Commenting on a Chobani blog post titled “Our Promise to You,” a man claiming to work for Publix Supermarkets said his store removed Chobani products with best-by dates between September 7 and October 7.
A spokesman for Walmart said that Chobani asked their stores to remove specific products late last week, but said Chobani would have to tell media the exact product information involved.
A corporate customer support representative from Safeway said on Monday that he had not heard of any Chobani recall or request for removal of products from Safeway stores. A customer support representative for Target stores similarly had not heard of any problems.
Representatives for other Chobani retailers, including Walgreens and Kroger, have not immediately responded to inquiries.
Numerous customers have written on Chobani’s Facebook page and blog complaining of bloated containers and yogurt that tasted foul or was bubbling out of the foil cover. The company is asking dissatisfied customers to write into its online contact form or contact the company directly at email@example.com.
The FSN reader supplied an additional photo of a bloated yogurt container:© Food Safety News