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RUSSIA

Fouled food found at Ikeas in France, Russia

Swedish furniture giant Ikea has halted the sale of sausages in Russia and chocolate cakes in France and more than 20 other countries after finding the products contained horsemeat and faecal bacteria respectively.

Fouled food found at Ikeas in France, Russia

It emerged on Thursday that cake products sold in the cafeterias of Ikea stores in France had been found to contain intestinal bacteria.

“Up to 6,000 portions may have already been consumed,” Marie Taillard of France’s National Food Agency in Paris told the Aftonbladet newspaper.

Taillard said that the finding has been confirmed by Ikea and that further tests are being carried out.

“We need a deeper analysis and we’re looking into the situation across the whole of France,” she added.

“The most important thing is that no more cakes are left out on the shelves.”

Media in France, a country normally known for its high cuisine, has had a field day with the finding, with several news agencies referring to the delicacies as “tarte au caca Ikea” – or “Ikea shit cakes”.

On Tuesday, health authorities in China confiscated nearly two tonnes of chocolate cakes imported from Sweden by Ikea after finding high levels of bacteria commonly found in the human intestinal tract.

Concerns about bacteria contamination prompted Ikea to ban sales of the cakes in 23 countries.

Ikea spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson told the TT news agency that two batches of cakes produced by Almondy in Gothenburg may be contaminated with the bacteria.

“They are produced for our restaurants, now for the Swedish Food Market,” she explained.

The product is not sold in Ikea stores in Sweden and Magnusson emphasized that the bacteria detected does not pose a health hazard and that eating the cakes will not make people sick.

Meanwhile, sausages sold at a Russian outlet of the Swedish retailer have been found to contain horsemeat.

“The horsemeat has been found in locally-produced sausages,” Ikea spokeswoman Sara Paulsson told the TT news agency.

While horsemeat is a legal ingredient in the country, it must be clearly stated on the food’s packaging.

Russian authorities have pointed the finger at Austria for supplying the meat in question.

There are 14 Ikea stores across the country and in the last week, sausages containing horsmeat have surfaced at two different outlets, according to AFP.

The tests revealing horsemeat in Ikea’s sausages were carried out by the company, according to Paulsson, who added that it remains unclear if Ikea will change suppliers.

TT/The Local/og

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IKEA

Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price

In the run-up to what would in normal times be the festive season sales rush, Ikea has vowed to buy back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price
Got any pieces of Ikea furniture at home? You may be able to get rid of it and get money back. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Ikea, the world's largest furniture chain, said Tuesday it would begin buying back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

The “Buy Back Friday” scheme, timed to coincide with the “Black Friday” pre-Christmas retail frenzy, will run from November 24th and until December 3rd in 27 countries.

“Rather than buy things you don't need this Black Friday, we want to help customers give their furniture a second life instead of making an impulse buy,” said Stefan Vanoverbeke, deputy retail operations manager at Ingka Group, Ikea's parent company.

To address concerns its affordable, flat-pack products encourage overconsumption and waste, the Swedish company had previously said it would start renting and recycling furniture as part of an eco-drive.

Under its buyback scheme, the group said that “anything that can't be resold will be recycled or donated to community projects to help those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“Some countries like Australia and Canada for example are currently testing different buyback services, but BuyBack Friday will be the first time that 27 countries do this together,” the statement added.

The Swedish giant employs over 217,000 people and has more than 50 outlets. Its annual turnover is around 40 billion euros ($46 billion).

The group did not specify how it would determine the price paid for second-hand furniture and customers will receive a voucher, not cash, for their products.  

As part of efforts to reduce waste, Ikea has already begun repairing and re-packaging products in every store that have been damaged in transit, as well as allowing customers to return products – including furniture – for resale or donation to charities.

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