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What is wrong with my Fage yogurt?

danna Jun 30, 2006 03:38 PM

I just opened a 7 oz Fage 2% yogurt container. The yogurt seems to have separated/curdled/not sure what to call it. There was lots of separated water, and when stirred in (up to this point not unusual), the yogurt had tiny lumps in , and could not be stirred smooth. It was MUCH less thick than normal, I would assume because of the tiny clumping. This is the second time I have seen this phenomenon this year. The yogurt seems to taste fine...but I threw it away anyway because the texture is not pleasing, and I'm a little worried about what's wrong with it.

The second container I opened (I keep them stockpiled) was fine, and they were purchased, transported and stored together (I am 97% sure). The date on both was 7/13.

What did the yogurt do? What caused it? Any problem to eat?

Thanks in advance.

  1. a
    area3 Jul 3, 2008 03:13 PM

    Okay. So I too am a Yogurt snob. First and foremost I eat it for health. Yogurt has returned my digestive health to a more youthful quality. But I want to enjoy what I eat. And so it goes I migrated from brand to brand as I become even more health concious. I avoid brands with cornstarch, gelatin and corn syrup like the plague. Pectin is okay as that is in the fruit part of some and for sweeteners cane/fruit sugar/syrup is okay. I have two brands from that American class I can depend on; Cascade Fresh, albeit rather gelled, yet with 8 live cultures it's natural enough and Safeway brand "O" organic which is delightful in Rasberry and Strawberry. But on vacation a few weeks ago, I was out of town and got some Fage to eat with some blueberries and rasberries and I was delighted. It was made in Greece and the expo date was a week off. It was delicious. My girlfriend did not like it as it was too sour. I loved it. I got home and I bought some more. The expo date on the one I got was a few days over - from Greece also. It was okay. I bought more. Up to that point it was all 2%. This latest bunch is 0% and I have not ate any of that yet. Now I read all of this here. I go to the store to get some more 2%. It is all the USA stuff as is the untouched 0%. I just had some of the USA 2% with some bananas, apricots and fresh bing cherries with a sprinkle of sugar over the top; fruit and yogurt stay separate. I am not a mixer - yuck. Well, the yogurt has a little water on top. That is okay. I drain it off. No curd though. And the paper peels fine. The yogurt is smooth and not chalky. It is sour too. Tastes like cheese. Cool. And the sugared fruit mellows it. It tastes the same as the Greek stuff. Maybe it's just me. Maybe it was a bad batch you all got into as they are ramping up their production runs and perfecting the process with a new factory and new crew. Growing pains? Probably. It makes no sense on earth for a company like that to cheapen their product or change ther recipe or processes for sale here. They are tops in their industry with awards and all. Their choice to make their yogurt in the USA for USA sales is a distribution/supply chain management choice to increase profit as they were most likely taking it in the rear shipping it here form Greece; can you image the headache of that? I do not think it was a "green" choice. It was a $$$ and sense bottom line profit margin choice and in no way would they alter their recipe in addition to that. Imagine the firestorm and revinue loss if that was true. Their test marketing in the USA was a success and so it goes they open a plant here with the same product/recipe/process. Milk is milk. Cows eat grass and we got some pretty sweet grass here in the USA and some darn good cows too. So I reiterate, what everyone here may seem to have experienced was growing pains as they ramped up their USA production into full swing beyond their initital trial batches and perhaps there was some quality control issues. They most likely have fixed those as my USA Fage 2% is delicious!!! And sour too :) Smooth and creamy and no way like gelatin. It has an expo date of July 24th. It tastes just like the Greek stuff did a few days ago. Viva la' Fage!!! My new favorite yogurt!!!

    Signed, the Yogurt Snob.

    P.S. I love Yogurt so much that I think I will try to make some of my own. As I will make my own pickles this year too as Nally and Farman's are buying their raw pickles in India now and that is something to holler about!!!

    Cheers :)

    2 Replies
    1. re: area3
      b
      brendastarlet Jul 3, 2008 03:33 PM

      I had no problems with the 0% Fage that I bought recently. But if you aren't satisfied, take it back. In my neighborhood, the big tub of Fage costs between $4.50 and $5, and that's too much money to be dissatisfied.

      The Trader Joe's Greek Style Yogurt is not as good, but an okay substitute, for about half the price. And they now make a 0%.

      1. re: area3
        s
        SarahWW Jul 6, 2008 12:08 PM

        There are still quality control issues in the Fage yogurt coming out of NY.

        I buy two cases a week by special order. For the last three weeks, cases from GR coded plants=good, from the NY plant, nasty.

        The NY fage this week has air bubbles and tastes on the verge of spoiled.
        (It's zero percent). Last week the GR coded zero percent was good, but my 2% case from the NY plant, had the off-taste.

        The week before that, the zero percent case from NY was off.

        The GR coded cases are as good as always. The NY cases are a horror show. I give up. I'm taking the latest case back up for a refund from my grocer. If they are unable to specify "no NY Fage" when they place the store order for me, I will cancel my standing order of 2 cases a week, which I've had for about two years.

        I'll buy it per container, after checking for a "GR" plant code on the label.

      2. louweezy Jun 16, 2008 02:41 PM

        I know this is really old, but I have experienced this same situation recently. I however, had it happen with Greek & US Fage (it's marked on the container). I can absolutely say the 2 do not taste the same. I have noticed in both the US & the Greek plants that same grainy texture on occasion. The texture did not seem to affect it in any other way though. Something is definitely different though. US is not nearly as sour (a quality I enjoyed) I can only assume it's terroire. I mean, think about it, I think it would be safe to assume that the way Fage Greek cows eat & live & the foods & water they drink is not the same as in the US. Hence, a different taste.
        I also want to say that about a month ago I opened a Greek container & it had mold inside. I have eaten 4-5 containers a week for about a year, & this was a 1st. I sent FAGE email stating what happened & expected an apology & a coupon for a replacement container (even though I said I didn't know if it was the grocer's fault or Fage's) They almost immediately apologized, & offered as compensation, an entire replacement CASE!. I am supposed to receive it in 2 days-We'll see. I was shocked that they would be so generous. It wasn't until after they told me this that I actually told them how much of it I eat, & that I refer to it as breakfast crack. I just hope that the change in location doesn't affect the product & that they can work out any kinks so that the US version is as close to the original as possible.
        Go Fage!

        1. toodie jane May 9, 2008 07:06 AM

          I experienced this last week with product bought at TJ's in California.

          On the Fage ('Fah-ay') website, there is a consumer comment form.

          I rec sending in the plant # listed on the container along with the expiration date printed on the foil liner. That way they can track this down and help solve the problem.

          http://www.fageusa.com/email.php

          1 Reply
          1. re: toodie jane
            b
            Bhanu Jun 16, 2008 01:26 AM

            The best thing would be send complains to their Greek head office at info@fage.gr as the US office is not going to do anything about it than send you a package of Yogurt free to take care of your dissatisfaction and act cute as someone in the posts said.

          2. HillJ May 8, 2008 07:23 PM

            Legal issues over the experience of greek yogurt....news at 11!
            come on, now.

            3 Replies
            1. re: HillJ
              Ruth Lafler May 9, 2008 12:22 AM

              Actually, I'm just making a point that there are labeling requirements for ingredients and they're taken pretty seriously. At least once a week someone will make some comment assuming that something ingredient (usually "preservatives") is in their food, when they either haven't looked at the label, don't understand labeling requirements or simply don't understand labels. Like "speculating" that there's modified food starch in yogurt when it's clearly not on the label.

              I'm all for being skeptical, but I find that people who are willing to believe that they're being lied to or deceived just on general principals are often most vulnerable to people who are actually deceiving them by preying on their fears of being lied to. The con artist's favorite marks are people who think that the world is conspiring to keep them in the dark and is full of lies and secrets; those people can thus be convinced that the con artist's plans for exploiting those hidden truths and secret tricks must be valid. You see it all the time, ads for books, tapes, seminars, etc. claiming to share the hidden secrets or methods of the rich and successful that they don't want you to know but the con will share with you!

              On a more benign (just annoying) level you get things like labels proclaiming "cholesterol free" or "no antibiotics" or "all natural" when the product (and all similar products) was that way either naturally or by law and not because that particular brand was in any way special.

              1. re: Ruth Lafler
                Prav May 9, 2008 08:06 AM

                "100% Concord Grape Juice" - "FAT FREE"

                1. re: Prav
                  Ruth Lafler May 9, 2008 09:18 AM

                  LOL. Exactly.

            2. s
              SarahWW May 3, 2008 05:58 PM

              Sorry to stale-post on this subject, but I just got two cases of Fage ( I buy two every week) and they had this same problem. I've been trying to find clues as to what exactly happened to make these cases wet and grainy. I eat the stuff at almost every meal, love it. I know what it's supposed to be like, smooth and custardy, and these containers were not like that.

              I noticed these came in newly designed case packaging - the solid cardboard packaging had circles puched out of the top and bottom of the cardboard, like really big "airholes", and I'm worried the new design makes the yogurt more vulnerable to temp shifts or vibration. But what would be the real cause of the altered texture in the Fage? At the grocer, I pick it up the day it is shipped to the store - I put it in a cooler and carry it myself to my car, and eat one as soon as I get home and have finished putting them away, usually. So nothing changed about my handling of the product, and it wasn't my fridge that did it, if its refrigeration.

              I noticed the batch came from a different plant number than the containers from the previous week.

              2 Replies
              1. re: SarahWW
                HillJ May 4, 2008 05:38 AM

                I would have left those answers to the store I purchased it from or contacted the company directly. A case of Fage is not an inexpensive commitment :)

                Now that Fage is being sold on a larger scale, I wonder if the quality will suffer. Fage is sold in every store I frequent; more trucks, more handling...let's hope it remains the same wonderful yogurt!

                1. re: HillJ
                  m
                  mgarvin Jun 26, 2008 12:13 PM

                  The problem is that the yogurt is now being made in New York and it is aweful. The consistency is not the same and even the honey and fruit they are using is totally different. What a disappointment. I'm not sure if I will continue to buy Fage now that it no longer comes from Greece and obviously something has changed.

              2. s
                Susan Hope Jul 19, 2006 03:55 PM

                Just last week, I opened a small container of Fage and found mold on the plastic sheet covering the yogurt (but none on the yogurt itself). Very weird, as it hadn't expired. I just tossed it and got something else for lunch.

                1. Caitlin McGrath Jul 19, 2006 03:15 AM

                  It is a brand of Greek yogurt (imported from Greece), also called Total on the packaging, available in full-fat, 2%, and 0% fat versions. Greek-style yogurt has a very thick, and creamy texture, with a slight tang but less sourness than most yogurts; the milk is cooked somehow before the yogurt is made (I believe) and strained to achieve the thick texture (think of the straining you do if you've ever made yogurt cheese). If you've ever had Middle Eastern yogurts like lebne, Greek yogurt is similar. Fage/Total is sold at Trader Joe's, Whole Foods, and some other stores. If you've never had it, I definitely suggest trying it. The 2% and 0% are unbelievably creamy and rich tasting given their fat content. I have to warn you, though: it's expensive and habit-forming.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: Caitlin McGrath
                    sivyaleah Jul 19, 2006 01:46 PM

                    It's also found in most major supermarkets at this point - ShopRite, A&P and Kings in my area all now carry it.

                  2. m
                    melly Jul 18, 2006 11:03 PM

                    What is Fage yogurt? Is it a brand of yogurt or what?

                    1. Aromatherapy Jul 18, 2006 09:29 PM

                      Sounds like it was shaken. Hard shaking can break up yogurt.

                      1. h
                        hana Jul 18, 2006 05:40 PM

                        did you hear anything about fage being taken off the market in the U.S. due to higher levels of bacteria? someone told me this and i'm just wondering.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: hana
                          Allstonian Jul 18, 2006 05:45 PM

                          They were taken off the market a year or more ago because of an import regulation glitch - my understanding was that it had nothing to do with actual product quality and was purely a paperwork technicality. They returned to the market a couple of months later with all problems ironed out.

                          1. re: hana
                            c
                            cheryl_h Jul 18, 2006 05:46 PM

                            I've seen plenty of it on store shelves so if it was withdrawn, it's now back.

                          2. h
                            hbgrrl Jun 30, 2006 11:45 PM

                            It sounds like it was handled improperly.
                            But with refrigerated sections having so much open display space in the front, who knows if the refrigeration is constant (although we hope it would be).

                            I'd return it.

                            1. sivyaleah Jun 30, 2006 03:53 PM

                              Possible that one container was in the front of the frig section and not kept as cold - or some yutz had it in their cart while shopping, it got warm and then the put it back on the shelf. Who knows? It could be anything. I'd bring it back to the store - most supermarkets will take it back gladly and exchange it for another if you still have the receipt. I've had the happen with similar items - sour cream, cream cheese, etc.

                              Laurie

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