x Abu Dhabi, UAESaturday 22 July 2017

Cakes safe from bacteria at Ikea Abu Dhabi, says food authority

The Abu Dhabi food control authority says laboratory results showed the cakes were clear from the bacteria which prompted a global recall from the Swedish furniture giant.

ABU DHABI // Almond cakes sold at Ikea stores in Abu Dhabi are safe from coliform bacteria, the emirate's food control authority announced.

Hundreds of chocolate and butterscotch almond cakes were withdrawn earlier this month from Ikea stores in Dubai and Abu Dhabi as part of a global recall affecting 23 countries, including China, the UAE, France, Austria and Germany.

"We received the information from the International Food Safety Authorities Network that Ikea had recalled the cake from different countries including the UAE," said Mohamed Jalal Al Rayssi, the Abu Dhabi Food Control Authority's communications director. "But that wasn't enough for us to make sure that consumers were safe from the coliform bacteria so our team visited the market and stopped the Ikea cakes from going on sale."

The bacteria, detected in two batches of the cakes in China, is commonly found in organic matter, including faeces. It is not dangerous on its own but it can mean food is contaminated with E coli, which can lead to food poisoning. "It's a bacteria that's harmful to the stomach and it's really not healthy to have it in food," said Mr Al Rayssi.

A team of inspectors from ADFCA took samples of the cake to their laboratory for testing. "This was to make sure that the same problem would not occur in other cakes from Ikea," he said.

Results showed the cakes were clear from the bacteria. "I think it must have been a manufacturing problem because, if not, we would have found the bacteria in the cakes," he added.

The cakes are now being sold again in Ikea stores in Abu Dhabi. "They are healthy and safe," said Mr Al Rayssi.

cmalek@thenational.ae