Days after Chobani voluntarily removed its Greek yogurt from grocery shelves after getting reports of swelling and bloating containers, the Food and Drug Administration announced today that at least 89 people have reported falling ill after eating the product.
According to Chobani, the yogurts are contaminated with Mucor circinelloides, a common species of mold that usually affects fruits, vegetables, and other plants. Supposedly this organism is regularly used for the production of natural flavor compounds that are widely used in the food industry and very rarely does it act as an opportunistic pathogen, especially through food.
While eating a little mold will have no effect on most people, those with comprised immune systems may be more susceptible to feeling ill. The big concern is that where mold appears, harmful bacteria (such as E coli, salmonella, or listeria) may begin to grow next.
So should you clear out your fridge of all Chobani or other yogurts for that matter? For starters, go to the Chobani website for more information on specific products. If the containers you have were not in an effected batch, there is no need to toss them. Remember, yogurt is a very healthy food and there is no reason to stop enjoying it because of one unfortunate incident. If you've unknowingly eaten a recalled product and feel ill, see your doctor.
Overall it always best to practice food safety in your home or office. Yogurt that has been stored in a refrigerator that remains at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit at all times will generally remain safe for at least seven to 10 days after the "sell-by" date on the package. If you have an opened container, you should eat it within one week, tops.
I love the saying, “When it doubt, throw it out”—but in this case, just make sure you buy it again, because in my mind there is no doubt that yogurt is still a healthy choice.