Ikea just can’t get a break. First, the international purveyor of self-assembled furniture and Scandanavian hors d’ouvres got roped into the horsemeat scandal when traces of horse DNA were found in meatballs and sausages it sold. Now, according to the Guardian, almond cakes from its restaurants in 23 countries are being pulled after bacteria usually found in fecal matter was discovered.
The Swedish retailer stopped sales of its almond cakes after Chinese customs authorities found two batches that fell short of the country’s hygiene standards, the Wall Street Journal reported.
Ikea said Chinese customs officials last December seized and destroyed a batch of 1,800 cakes imported from Sweden after tests revealed that the cakes contained a prohibitively high level of coliform bacteria – a type of bacteria that can be found in soil, vegetation, water and everyday human environments, as well as in the feces of humans and warm-blooded animals, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The coliform bacteria found do not normally cause serious illness, the Guardian noted. According to an Ikea spokeswoman, the almond cakes supplier tested the same batch and found no presence of the more dangerous E. coli or human intestinal bacteria.
The Tarta Chokladkrokant cakes – described as an almond cake layered with chocolate, butter cream and butterscotch – were headed for an Ikea store in Shanghai, and came from the same Swedish supplier, Almondy, which delivers all of the Ikea almond cakes served in majority of the retailer’s stores around the world, noted the Wall Street Journal.
Chinese authorities have stepped up food inspections in recent years after a series of scandals over fake or shoddy goods.
In addition to Ikea’s almond cakes, the Shanghai quarantine bureau said that Kraft cream cheese and 2.7 tons of Nestle chocolate bars also were among the dozens of imported products destroyed in its latest round of quality inspections, according to the Associated Press.
The Nestle chocolate contained too much of the sweetener sorbitol, which in large amounts, can cause bowel problems.
Kraft Foods China said the imported batch of cheese products from the U.S. were used only as internal samples, the Associated Press reported.