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Gross encounters; Libby’s yucky yogurt part of national recall

Popular yogurt maker Chobani is pulling some of its Greek yogurt from store shelves over quality concerns that left KIRO Radio's Libby Denkman disgusted after a 'gross encounter.' (AP image)

Recently I was dealing with my plummeting blood sugar by perusing the office snack shop for a bite to eat. I thought I was making a healthy choice by picking up a blueberry Chobani nonfat Greek yogurt. Just 140 calories! 14 grams of protein! Live and active cultures! Can’t go wrong. Or so I thought.

Spoon in hand, I wandered back into the newsroom to enjoy my 6-ounce snack. After peeling back the label, my nose was met with a pungent, sour dairy smell I figured was part of the Greek yogurt experience. The top of the yogurt, instead of being nice and smooth, was slightly bubbly. I took a second to double check the expiration date, just in case, but my Chobani was well within the ‘fresh’ range. Reassured, I plunged my spoon in and took a nice, big bite.

Blurgh. The flavor of spoiled yogurt is difficult to miss: Too sour, and with a distinct stinky-foot finish. I threw away the cup and immediately reached for our office coffee pot to wash the flavor out of my mouth.

But the nightmare wasn’t over. The smell of the Chobani cup I tossed continued to annoy my coworkers. editor Stephanie Klein yelled that she could smell the spoiled dairy stench emanating from a trash can across the newsroom. It was a big yogurty stink bomb.

Only now do I realize I wasn’t alone.

Chobani notified stores over the weekend to pull potentially spoiled product from its shelves. And it turns out the company knew about possible problems with tainted yogurt manufactured in its Idaho plant two or three weeks ago.

Customers have bombarded the Chobani Facebook page with complaints about bloated, puffy, fizzy and foamy yogurt containers, and one reported an exploding container. Several people reported that they had become ill after eating the yogurt.

Said one person “I have been sick for a week and a half and couldn’t figure out why. After reading the newspaper today, I know why. I still have 2 “puffy” containers in my fridge.”

On Tuesday, Chobani said a type of mold common in dairy products may be to blame for the bloated packaging and bad-tasting yogurt.

A message posted on the Chobani Facebook page on Aug. 31 states “There is nothing more important to us than the quality of our products. We’re currently in the process of voluntarily removing and replacing some products from store shelves that did not meet our rigid quality standards.”

The recalled products have the code 16-012 and expiration dates from Sept. 11 to Oct. 7.

Needless to say, I’ll be staying away from the Chobani well beyond that, since I can’t seem to shake that horrible smell.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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