The mold that has led to a recall of Chobani yogurts poses little threat to consumers, said a Cornell University professor.
Randy Worobo is a professor of Food Science in Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, and a leading expert on food spoilage, and microbial food safety and quality.
“Mucor circinelloides is a species of mold commonly associated with fruits, vegetables and dairy that has been reported to cause spoilage like swelling and bloating in yogurt. It is not considered a disease-causing food-borne microorganism," he said.
While Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences does work with Chobani and the dairy industry in New York State, Professor Worobo and his lab are not affiliated with Chobani in any way.
Worobo said the mold should not pose a health risk to most consumers.
"Very rarely, it can act as an opportunistic pathogen, but not through food and usually only for people with compromised immune systems through inhalation. The organism is regularly used for the production of natural flavor compounds that are widely used in the food industry.”
Chobani Inc. voluntarily recalled some of its Greek yogurt products this week, following reports of product bloating and swelling and some claims of illness The items were manufactured in the company's new plant in Twin Falls, Idaho is voluntarily recalling Greek Yogurt.
The company has ceased the distribution of the product s and continues its investigation to identify the root cause. The products were distributed nationwide to retail and club stores. The products subject to recall are identified as follows:
- Chobani 6 oz. cups – all flavors
- Chobani 16 oz. tubs – all flavors
- Chobani 32 oz. tubs – all flavors
- Chobani 3.5 oz. cups – all flavors
- Chobani Bite 3.5 oz. cups – all flavors
- Chobani Flip 5.3 oz. containers – all flavors
- Chobani Champions® cups 3.5 oz. – all flavors
- Chobani Champions® tubes 2.25 oz., 8, 16 and 36 count – all flavors
In a statement, Chobani said consumers who have purchased the product should discard the product. They can contact the company's Customer Loyalty Team at chobani.com/care1 or call 877-847-6181 between the hours of 9am and 5pm ET.
Chobani was named Dairy Foods' Processor of the Year in 2012.