The following is a statement from Gary Hirshberg, Stonyfield Farm President and CE-Yo concerning the company’s recent first-ever product recall and ensuing investigation.
This message has been posted on the company website and sent to consumers via a company newsletter.
Our voluntary product recall two weeks ago has been one of the most challenging episodes for Stonyfield Farm and for me personally in our 25 year history. Now that the facts are in, I can now report to you on what transpired.
We have discovered that the problem has been traced to a specific batch of blueberry fruit produced by our fruit supplier at their facility. Here is their statement.
Statement from our fruit supplier
We are working closely with Stonyfield Farm following the yogurt manufacturer’s voluntary recall of its Blueberry Fat Free Yogurt on March 28. Our facility, which supplies a fruit component to Stonyfield, conducted an initial review and identified an isolated incident involving a moisture absorbent commonly found in food packaging and which is safe to humans. We have cooperated fully with the FDA, which has reviewed our operations. At no time did any of our products pose a threat to the health and safety of consumers.
Consumer safety has always been the highest priority of our company, as we know it is for Stonyfield. We have instituted protective measures to ensure there is no recurrence of this issue. We have and will take all steps necessary to protect the trust Stonyfield has placed in us for the last 25 years to provide quality, safe ingredients for their products.
The moisture absorbent that our fruit supplier references in their statement was comprised of tiny beads the size of mustard seeds. They were not made of glass or plastic, as we originally suspected. While we are pleased to share this news with you, I must emphasize that this recent episode is unacceptable and we will do everything possible to ensure that it never recurs.
I am proud that we acted promptly, effectively and in the best interests of our consumers and , our retailers in this first-ever recall. It was a massive job, since this product was sold nationally in natural food stores and grocery chains. Our first priority was notifying consumers via our website and the media, and within a few hours, we contacted state health officials and the FDA, and notified our sales folks across the country, who immediately contacted thousands of stores.
If there is a bright side to this recall, it has been the phone calls and emails from many of you conveying your support during this difficult time. I appreciated every one of them, just as I know you appreciated our speed in announcing and implementing this voluntary recall. Despite the pain we have all felt, it has been rewarding for all of us to be reminded of the incredible community we’ve built together over these past 25 years and which we will continue to foster together into the future.
President & CE-Yo