- Chinese authorities found cake contained high levels of coliform bacteria
- Nearly two tons of the chocolate almond cake was destroyed last year
- The company was caught up in the horsemeat scandal last week
By Steve Nolan
PUBLISHED: 09:37 EST, 5 March 2013 | UPDATED: 10:57 EST, 5 March 2013
Almost two tons of cake imported by Swedish firm Ikea to China have been destroyed after authorities found it contained bacteria present in sewage.
Quarentine officials in Shanghai confirmed that 1,872kg of chocolate almond cake imported by the company contained excessive levels of coliform bacteria which is found in human faeces.
The news comes just a week after Ikea became embroiled in the horsemeat scandal.
Food scandal: Cake imported to China by Swedish firm Ikea failed to meet food hygiene standards, officials have said
The company had to withdraw meatballs from 24 countries last week over fears that they could contain horse DNA.
Ikea spokesman Ylva Magnusson said that the cakes were destroyed in November and December but the company’s head office had only found out about it on Monday.
She said: ‘The product was stopped and destroyed. So none of the cakes made it to our restaurants.’
She added that the supplier has tested the same batch of almond cakes and found no presence of E. coli or human intestinal bacteria.
The cake, which is made by a Swedish supplier, is sold in Ikea stores in the majority of countries that it operates in.
A statement released by Ikea said that the product has now been withdrawn from 23 countries – but added that the UK and Ireland are not affected.
It read: ‘Traces of coliform bacteria have been found in two isolated production batches of Almond cake with chocolate and butterscotch, produced for the Restaurant, from one supplier in Sweden.
‘There is no health risk associated with consuming this product.
‘The production batches have, as per safety and quality routines, been tested for bacteria that can cause health issues, such as E.coli, and none of these pathogen bacteria have been found.’
Coliform bacteria can be found in soil, vegetation, water and everyday human environments, as well as in the faeces of humans and warm-blooded animals.
Not on sale: The firm had already had to remove meatballs from 24 countries because it was feared that there could be horse DNA in them
The Shanghai quarantine bureau said this week that Kraft cream cheese and 2.7 tons of Nestle chocolate bars also were among dozens of imported products destroyed in its latest round of quality inspections.
Chinese authorities have stepped up food inspections in recent years after a series of scandals over fake or shoddy goods.
The Nestle chocolate apparently contained too much sorbitol, a sweetener that in large amounts can cause bowel problems, the agency said in a statement.
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