After the recent food scare concerning its famous meatballs, where traces of horsemeat were found, furniture retailer IKEA is in the middle of another food crisis. The retailer, which runs restaurants in all of its stores across the world, recalled almond tarts and chocolate sold in 23 countries after Chinese authorities found high levels of coliform bacteria, which may indicate fecal contamination. Even if IKEA said there is no threat to the health, it recalled these products from the 23 countries, Romania included, according to The Sun. The other countries where IKEA withdrew the tainted products are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland, Finland, France, Germany, Greece. Italy, Norway, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, its home country Sweden, Taiwan, Hungary and the United Arab Emirates.
IKEA said Chinese customs officials last December seized and destroyed a batch of 1,800 cakes imported from Sweden, after testing revealed that they contained a 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 Tarta Chokladkrokant (in picture) cakes – almond cake layered with chocolate, butter cream and butterscotch – were supposed to be sold in an IKEA store in Shanghai, and came from the same Swedish supplier, Almondy.
IKEA, which earlier in February withdrew the meat balls sold in its Romanian restaurant for half an hour to double check that it did not contain traces of horse meat, ended the financial year 2011-2012 with a turnover of EUR 89 million in Romania, a growth of 10.8 percent on the previous September to August in the previous year. On average, each customer bought four products, a hot-dog and one and a half meatballs in the IKEA restaurant. The restaurant sold over 4.2 million meatballs during this 12-month period, as well as 3 million hot-dogs.
Worldwide, food makes up 4.7 percent of IKEA’s turnover, which reaches some EUR 1.3 billion in total.
(photo source: IKEA)