Swedish furniture giant IKEA has withdrawn its almond and butterscotch cake from its in-store restaurants in 23 countries, including Australia, after samples were found to contain a kind of bacteria normally found in feces. 

Chinese food inspectors reportedly destroyed almost two tonnes of the cake imported by the Swedish company after it was found to violate food quality standards. IKEA has released a statement confirming that traces of coliform bacteria were found in two batches of the cake produced for its restaurants by one supplier in Sweden.Coliform bacteria are found in the environment, including in water, soil and vegetation, and commonly found in feces.

Although the bacteria themselves do not generally pose health risks, their presence can indicate contamination by other pathogens such as E. coli. E. coli is considered an indication of recent faecal contamination and can cause illness.

The furniture manufacturer, which has seven stores in Australia, said that the samples had been tested for E.coli but none had been found. Last month IKEA withdraw its frozen meatballs from sale in some of its restaurants in Europe and Asia after tests in the Czech Republic found traces of horsemeat.