Recalled Chobani Yogurt Results in Illness, Class Action Lawsuit

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By: Irvin Jackson | Published: September 11th, 2013

Following dozens of confirmed illnesses linked to moldy yogurt that was recalled earlier this month, the makers of Chobani Greek Yogurt now face a class action lawsuit filed on behalf of consumers.  

The complaint (PDF) was filed by Harold J. Green in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida on Monday, seeking class action status to include all claims for all individuals who ate the recalled yogurt.

A Chobani Greek Yogurt recall was issued on September 5, following a high volume of complaints from consumers who indicated the yogurt was moldy and runny.

This week, the FDA confirmed that at least 89 reports have been received involving consumers becoming ill after eating the recalled Chobani yogurt. Individuals have reported suffering from bloating, swelling and other symptoms of food poisoning.

The mold has not yet officially been identified, but the lawsuit claims that Chobani knows what it is but is not making the information public. According to the complaint, Chobani’s founder and company CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya made a statement that the mold is common in the dairy environment, particularly when the manufacturer uses all-natural ingredients.

“Potentially hundreds, or even thousands, of Chobani consumers are now left in the dark with information that is extremely relevant to the health and safety of not only themselves, but friends, family members, and even children, whom have all consumed mold tainted cups of Yogurt,” the lawsuit states. “Such information is relevant to Plaintiff and the putative class members who may need to know the type of mold they ingested in order to notify their respective treating physicians.”

The Chobani Greek yogurt class action lawsuit seeks to represent anyone who has purchased or consumed the recalled yogurt within the last year. The lawsuit accuses Chobani of breach of warranty and negligence.

Chobani, known formerly as Agro-Farma, has the largest yogurt market share in the United States at 17 percent. That is more than double the yogurt market share of Yoplait, its closest competitor, the lawsuit claims. Half of all Greek yogurt sold in the U.S. is manufactured by Chobani, which pulled in about $1 billion in gross sales last year.

The company was hit earlier this summer with another class action lawsuit that claimed it was mislabeling its products by calling them all natural. However, a federal judge all-but dismissed that lawsuit for a number of reasons, effectively killing it.

Photo Courtesy of tbiley via Flickr CC2.0

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There Are 5 Comments So Far • (Add Your Comments)

  1. My wife woke up this morning and thought she had the flu. She said she had been throwing up and had the craps. I told her she had eaten something that was bad. she told me what she ate and it was chobani yogurt. I checked the dates and codes, after hearing on the news about the yogurt, and they all matched. I called and reported it to the fda. I hope she feels better soon.

  2. I ate the Chobani yogurt over Labor day weekend. I started feeling ill,but continued to eat it because for forty years yogart has been my go-to food when I had stomach problems. Later when I connected the illness with the yogart I attempted to contact Chobani. They still have not contacted me only telling me on facebook that they intend to. I also called the FDA. I feel better now but it was a miserable week and a half.

  3. I bought 5 containers of Chobani yogurt. I started to eat one and it tasted a little different. I decided to save the remainder for later. I didn’t eat the rest of the container contents because I got sick quickly. I didn’t know what to do. I called Chobani and they offered coupons for free yogurt. They said that they would get back to me. They didn’t. I find their lack of attention upsetting. I tried to call the FDA but there were so many options and I probably picked the wrong one and left a message. Never heard back from them. Now I read of a class action suit and would like to get involved with it but don’t how. Can any one offer me help on what to do? Bob

  4. After eating the Chobani strawberry/banana yogurt I just didn’t feel well and was quite listless and stayed home from work as I began running a fever. It lasted more than a week. My throat swelled almost totally shut, then I had trouble breathing. I had a very, very severe cough and had I not been able to get into my doctor my husband was going to take me to the hospital. HORRIBLE. The initial strong antibiotics and anti viral medication didn’t kick the cough. A subsequent round of an extreme antibiotic used to treat anthrax and plague helped dramatically, but i can tell my lungs still aren’t “right”.

  5. I became very sick when I ate the key line pie flip chobani yogurt back in the first week of October . My stomach became very bloated, abdominal cramping was very nauseated and had serious indigestion with burping. Just recently this week I ate two days the chobani coco loco and then 2 if key lime flips for breakfast. I have again develop the same symptons but much worse . No amount of Pepcid or nexium relieves it and the cramping in my stomach has been terrible. Has anyone else recently experienced this since the recall and if so please tell me what helped it????

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