Russians block Chobani yogurt shipment from US Olympic team

Published 9:54 am Thursday, February 6, 2014

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — Russian regulators have blocked a shipment of Chobani yogurt from reaching the U.S. Olympic team in Sochi, said U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer.

Schumer, D-N.Y., said Tuesday in a release that a “large shipment” of the yogurt giant’s product is being held in a refrigerated warehouse in New Jersey because Russian officials haven’t granted Chobani a food safety permit.

“I understand the need for high food safety standards for dairy products,” Schumer wrote to Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. “However, the U.S. government has confirmed that sanitary standards have been met to ensure that this yogurt is safe for consumption.”

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The U.S. Department of Agriculture is also trying to intervene to get the shipment through.

Chobani is a U.S. Olympic Team sponsor. Company officials held a shipment ceremony last month in Twin Falls before sending off crates of yogurt to Sochi.

“Right now, 5,000 fresh single-serve cups of blueberry, strawberry and peach Chobani, and multi-serve containers of plain Chobani yogurt for smoothies, are being stored in a temperature-controlled facility, waiting for the final go-ahead from Russian authorities to be immediately transported,” a company news release said.