Chobani announced it was recalling shipments of certain Greek yogurt cups on Thursday after receiving numerous complains of mold.
Chobani spokeswoman Amy Juaristi told Reuters that the company was recalling the product due to "some claims of illness," though the type of mold is common in dairy products and "is unlikely to have ill health effects." The mold only affected less than 5 percent of production and the company had identified 95 percent of the affected product by Thursday morning.
Food Safety News reported on Tuesday Chobani had been quietly pulling its product from store shelves after customers complained of bloated tops and funky smells.
In a message on Chobani's website, founder and CEO Hamdi Ulukaya guaranteed replacements or refunds for yogurt containers whose best buy dates fall between Sept. 11 and Oct. 7. Chobani voluntarily withdrew its product from store shelves and Ulukaya decided not to ship the remaining product.
"I'm sorry we let you down," Ulukaya said. "My heartfelt apologies to our friends, fans and consumers who were impacted, as your loyalty and safety is something we cherish and never take for granted. We have worked round the clock to fully fix the issue and have been shipping fresh product to stores."
Greek yogurt has grown to become a $2 billion industry, though unintended consequences of its production have already made headlines this year.
A May report from Modern Farmer detailed that only one of every three or four ounces of milk actually becomes Greek yogurt, while the rest turns into an acidic whey byproduct that companies have had trouble getting rid of. Chobani, for instance, has been selling the byproduct back to farmers, who have tried mixing it with silage to feed to livestock and converting it into energy.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo held a "yogurt summit" in August 2012 to hear ideas from industry leaders, farmers and stakeholders to ensure the yogurt industry continues to boom and create jobs in New York. Yogurt plants tripled in production from 2007 to 2012. The amount of milk used to make yogurt jumped from 166 million pounds to 1.7 billion in the same time frame.
Click here for the Food and Drug Administration's list of all the recalled products.