By Paul Chung
Image credit: @sherrieberrie84.
Swedish furniture giant Ikea may have dodged last week’s horsemeat meatball scandal in China, but this week’s coliform bacteria-infested cake news is just plain foul.
Back in November and December of last year, Chinese authorities destroyed nearly 1,800 (approximately 1,872 kilograms) Ikea chocolate and butterscotch almond cakes imported from Sweden after quality inspectors detected excessive levels of coliform bacteria, which are found in fecal matter. According to a company spokesman, Ikea company offices only found out about the destroyed cakes until recently.
Although Ikea pulled the cake in 23 countries, including China, the cakes are still on sale in the United Kingdom and Ireland. According to the company, the presence of fecal matter in the dessert items does not pose significant health risks. (It’s okay to eat fecal bacteria in moderation. Okay.)
In addition to the excess coliform bacteria found in Ikea cakes, the Shanghai quarantine bureau also seized and destroyed expired Kraft cream cheese and Nestlé chocolate containing sorbitol, a sweetener that causes bowel problems.
The latest scandal further aggravates already low chocolate consumption in a country where the average Chinese consumer eats only 100 grams each year (or the equivalent of just two Snickers bars).