The Swedish furniture manufacturer and retailer revealed yesterday (5 March) that it had taken the Taarta Chokladkrokant cakes off the shelves in stores based in 23 countries, including China and Australia.
It came in response to Chinese authorities discovering that almost two tons of the cake contained coliform bacteria, which is commonly found in sewage and human faeces.
Ylva Magnusson, a spokesperson for Ikea, said the cakes, which are described online as an almond cake with chocolate, buttercream and butterscotch, were destroyed last November and December. However, the company’s head office had only found out about the situation on Monday (4 March).
She added: “The product was stopped and destroyed. So none of the cakes made it to our restaurants.”
Magnusson explained that no traces of E.coli or human intestinal bacteria had been found in the same batch of chocolate almond cakes.
Ikea issued a statement, which said: "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."
Ikea has recently been caught up in the horsemeat scandal, after it was discovered that the firm’s Sweedish meatball products contained traces of equine DNA.