The Chinese government destroyed incoming products from three food giants – Ikea, Kraft and Nestle – at the end of 2012 for violations of food quality standards, revealed Shanghai’s quarantine bureau this week.
The agency said that it discovered high levels of coliform bacteria in chocolate almond cakes destined for Ikea stores, and subsequently destroyed 4,100 pounds, or about 2 tons of the product. While coliform bacteria are not dangerous in and of themselves, they indicate the potential for fecal contamination and the possibility that harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli or Listeria may be present.
Chinese authorities also disposed of Kraft cream cheese imported by Kraft Foods China as internal samples because the product didn’t receive certification by its expiration date, and discarded 2.7 tons of Nestle chocolate bars because they contained high levels of sorbitol, reported ABC News. Sorbitol is a sweetener that can cause gastrointestinal issues if consumed in large amounts.
After the quarantine bureau released this information, Ikea initiated a recall of its chocolate almond cakes in 23 countries, but noted that none of the destroyed products reached customers.
“The product was stopped and destroyed,” said Ikea spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson in a statement Tuesday. “So none of the cakes made it to our restaurants.”
Kraft, whose products were not destined for Chinese consumers, told customers, “We hereby sincerely apologize for all the concerns and doubts brought to consumers by this incident,” reported ABC.© Food Safety News