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IKEA Destroys 18,000 Cakes after Investigators Find Traces of Sewage Matter

Update Date: Mar 05, 2013 02:05 PM EST

On the heels of its horsemeat scandal, furniture giant IKEA has destroyed 18,000 almond cakes that were destined to be sent to 23 different countries. The cakes were destroyed because they had large traces of coliorm bacteria, which is typically found in the feces of various species and in soil.

According to the BBC, two batches of the cake were found to have unusually high levels of coliform. The cake batches came from a Swedish supplier called Almondy and went through health checks by the company. The substance was found by Chinese inspection officials, who reported that 1,872 kilograms of the cake were imported into the country and destroyed.

Coliform does not typically cause any serious illnesses in and of itself. However, traces of the substance can indicate pathogenic material, like E. coli or Salmonella.

"[Since] the product does not comply with our strict food quality standards we have decided to withdraw the concerned production batches from sale in the 23 affected countries," the company said in a statement.

The Wall Street Journal points out that the recent scandals could tarnish the company's image - and bottom line. IKEA earns over $35 billion from its food products, about 5 percent of its revenue. The company has marketed itself as an inexpensive place to eat, not just to buy furniture.

This announcement comes weeks after the Swedish manufacturer had to recall meatballs because it was suspected that they contained horsemeat. The products were marketed as being made of beef and pork.

According to the Telegraph, the 23 countries affected by the withdrawal of the almond cake are: Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan and the United Arab Emirates.

IKEA says that it is undertaking a full investigation in order to prevent such an occurrence from happening again.

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