Flat-pack furniture specialist Ikea is to resume sales of its wiener sausages after DNA analysis showed no indication of horsemeat traces, it has been announced today.
Re-commencing sales in stores from tomorrow morning, the sausages were the subject of a “precautionary sales stop” at the end of last month after tests revealed that sausages in the UK & Ireland, France, Spain and Portugal found some indication of contamination.
The announcement comes less than 24 hours after traces of faecal bacteria known as coliform were found in the retailer’s almond cakes in stores in China, forcing the withdrawal of the products from 23 countries.
While the Swedish retailer, which today announced plans to open a budget hotel chain with US hotel giant the Marriott, noted that there is “no health risk associated with consuming this product”, adding that the UK & Ireland are not affected, it yesterday withdrew the cakes as they failed to comply with its “strict” food standards.
“The trust of our customers is of outmost importance for us”, Anders Lennartsson, IKEA Food Services AB said.
“We do not tolerate any other ingredients than the ones stipulated in our recipes or product specifications”.
Sales of meatballs, which were found to contain horsemeat last month, remain suspended while Ikea investigates the root cause of the issue and the retailer pointed out that supplier Dafgård does not use the same production line for its sausages and meatballs.
As the horsemeat scandal rages on, Food Standards Authority CEO Catherine Brown yesterday outlined how the body is working with the Government to resolve the issue.
“At present we are using a 1 per cent threshold as a pragmatic level to determine the difference between gross and trace contamination,” Brown explained.
“The question that we want to explore is what levels are achievable, detectable and acceptable.
“There is a question of consumer acceptability. We need to have a better understanding of how consumers view trace contamination.
“Is it acceptable at certain low levels? If not what are the trade offs between costs and trace?
“We are undertaking a series of citizens forums to explore these issues with consumers as there is a real challenge for us and for the food industry to address consumer confidence in the coming months and make sure consumers can have well founded confidence in the food they eat.”