Maybe Ikea should stick to furniture

First, the Swedish mega-chain got caught in the horse meat scandal. Now, it finds out China has dumped nearly 2 tons of its tainted chocolate cake.

By Jason Notte Mar 5, 2013 4:32PM
Swedish meatballs at an IKEA restaurant (© Rolf Adlercreutz/Alamy)Remember when complaints about Ikea mainly concerned how long it took to put together its furniture, how many or few parts came in a package and how to pronounce the name of any product that wasn't Billy the bookshelf?


For the Swedish purveyor of discount, do-it-yourself furniture, those were the salad days. But after Ikea took its eyes off the non-salad items at its afterthought food counter, things started getting as shaky as a coffee table missing its locknuts.


According to Agence France-Presse, Ikea has filed suit against a Swedish meat provider after horse DNA was found in the beef used to make Ikea's sausages and beloved meatballs at its European locations. And in China, The Associated Press says health officials turned nearly two tons of Ikea chocolate cake into landfill fodder because it violated food quality standards.


In each case, Ikea's food counter has been the Allen wrench turning customers' stomachs. The chain's meat supplier, Dafgaard, says 5% to 10% of its meat came from Polish slaughterhouses that mixed horse meat into several batches of meatballs. The slaughterhouses vowed they weren't handling horse meat, but DNA analysis found trace amounts in bags of meatballs pulled from Ikea stores in 25 countries.


Although Burger King (BKW), Wal-Mart (WMT), Nestlé (NSRGY) and Yum Brands' (YUM) Taco Bell have felt Ikea's pain during the recent European horse meat scandal, Ikea is loath to let recalls and apologies serve as its only response. Compared to Ikea's woes in China, its meatball problems are just a costly case of mislabeling.


The two tons of cake that Shanghai's quarantine bureau just tossed out like a broken wall unit were laced with excessive levels of coliform bacteria. The cake, made by yet another Swedish supplier, was destroyed in November, but Ikea just learned about it on Monday.


At least the company is also keeping good company in China, where officials have been cracking down on food quality after a host of scandals. Yum's KFC lost 37% of its Chinese sales in January after health officials found it violated rules on drug use in poultry. And Nestlé had its chocolate bars pulled from shelves for containing too much sorbitol, a sweetener that when consumed in large amounts can cause bowel problems.


More on moneyNOW

2Comments
Mar 6, 2013 2:10AM
avatar
China has food-quality standards? Must be the only thing!
Mar 5, 2013 7:23PM
avatar
I still love their chicken marsala with saffon rice and mixed vegetables.  I can't forget their Swedish apple cake dripping with crème anglaise, either.  Wash that down with some lingonberry juice, too.  
Report
Please help us to maintain a healthy and vibrant community by reporting any illegal or inappropriate behavior. If you believe a message violates theCode of Conductplease use this form to notify the moderators. They will investigate your report and take appropriate action. If necessary, they report all illegal activity to the proper authorities.
Categories
100 character limit
Are you sure you want to delete this comment?

DATA PROVIDERS

Copyright © 2014 Microsoft. All rights reserved.

Fundamental company data and historical chart data provided by Morningstar Inc. Real-time index quotes and delayed quotes supplied by Morningstar Inc. Quotes delayed by up to 15 minutes, except where indicated otherwise. Fund summary, fund performance and dividend data provided by Morningstar Inc. Analyst recommendations provided by Zacks Investment Research. StockScouter data provided by Verus Analytics. IPO data provided by Hoover's Inc. Index membership data provided by Morningstar Inc.

Trending NOW

What’s this?

MARKET UPDATE

[BRIEFING.COM] The S&P 500 (-0.1%) remains just below its flat line after surrendering its early gain that was driven by a better than expected GDP report for Q2 (4.0% versus Briefing.com consensus 3.2%) and a set of above-consensus earnings.

To that latter point, American Express (AXP 90.65, -1.06), Buffalo Wild Wings (BWLD 144.48, -22.78), and WellPoint (WLP 110.11, -2.44) all beat their estimates, yet the trio trades lower across the board. Also of note, ... More

MSN MONEY'S