What You Need to Know About the Mold Responsible for Sickening Chobani Consumers

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Recalled Chobani yogurt may have led to nausea and cramps in 89 people.

On Monday, Food and Drug Administration (FDA) spokesperson Tamara Ward told The Time-News that the agency received dozens of reports of people getting sick after eating Chobani Greek yogurt. While the illnesses have not been definitively linked to the yogurt products, Chobani recalled 35 varieties of yogurt last week that were contaminated with a dairy mold.

The tainted yogurt cups were stamped with the code 16-012 and had expiration dates between Sept. 11 and Oct. 7.  Almost all of them have been removed from stores shelves and destroyed, according to the company.

(MORE: Food Safety: CDC Report Shows Rates of Foodborne Illnesses Remain Largely Unchanged)

In a blog post on its website, Chobani said that the type of mold found in the yogurt is Mucor circinelloides, which is commonly found in  fruits, vegetables and dairy products. The mold “has been reported to cause spoilage like swelling and bloating in yogurt. It is not considered a disease-causing foodborne microorganism,” the company writes. Health officials said the mold is not a threat to public health, and Randy Worobo, a professor of Food Science in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences wrote on behalf of Chobani noting  that the organism is regularly used in creating natural flavor and is prevalent in the food industry.

How did the mold get past the company’s quality control measures? A spokesperson told the Milwaukee -Wisconsin Journal Sentinel that the mold is hard to detect, and even one spore that isn’t identified can cause growth in a sealed up of yogurt.

“[People are] usually ok unless they have a compromised immune system. With that unfortunately you never know,” says Keri Gans, a registered dietician and nutrition consultant. According to Gans, it’s important to remember that what was found in Chobani was mold and not bacteria. Yogurt is a culture of good bacteria, including probiotics that recent studies have shown can improve digestion.

The FDA says it is continuing to work with Chobani through the recall to determine how the mold entered the yogurt and to make whatever changes are necessary to ensure such contaminations don’t occur again.

6 comments
LMG
LMG

I stopped buying Chobani yogurt a few years ago. I would buy them in a box from a warehouse store so it would be impossible to see each individual container. There were numerous bloating containers. When i wrote them a letter they sent me coupons for more yogurt! 

TMG
TMG

I am still very ill after 80+ days. Is there anyone else?????? Please let me know if there is.

iberose
iberose

My dog & I both got sick from eating Chobani yogurt! I just had to put my dog to sleep Saturday  because she got a lung infection from breathing the yogurt! Does anyone know how to get a copy of Chobani's testing report?

Please contact me at : Iberose@gmail.com

Msdkbb
Msdkbb

My son ate the Chobani cherry flavored yogurt on 8-22 and became very ill. The doctor ordered a stool test which confirmed he had salmonella. my husband & I also got sick but my son was much worse. We have 5 in the family and the only food the 3 of us ate that nobody else did was the yogurt. Either that company has two issues or they are playing down!

kfossa
kfossa

I  too went to urgent care on 8/30 after a headache then vomiting for 14 hrs.  I had mango Chobani approx. 24hr prior.  I spent 6 hrs there received IV fluid, a CT of my head and a lumbar puncture along with mediations to stop the nausea and vomiting.  I thought maybe it was something I ate at work.  No one else was sick at work and no one in my family.  I am healthy and have no PMH of GI problems or migraines????

EstebanCazadorez
EstebanCazadorez

Hey guys, make it 90 for the number of illnesses. I went to the aftercare emergency room complaining of stomachache, diarrhea, vomiting after eating Chobani yogurt. I was in PAIN all Sunday but the doctor gave me antibiotics to kill the bacteria. I didn't know about the recall and I was the only one that got sick in my family because nobody else ate the yogurt.