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March 4, 2013

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Chocolate bars, cake not up to standard

Ikea chocolate cake, Kraft cheese, Shiseido sunscreen cream and Nestle Crunch chocolate bars were among substandard products destroyed or sent back by China's quality watchdog in its latest checks.

The furniture retailer, still smarting from a horsemeat scandal that led to it withdrawing food products from its stories, had 1.87 tons of its almond chocolate cake imported from Sweden fail tests for containing an excessive level of coliform bacteria, according to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine.

They were imported by Ikea Shanghai in January but have now been destroyed.

There was no one available for comment at Ikea Shanghai yesterday.

A batch of cream cheese imported from the United States by Kraft Foods Shanghai was also destroyed because it had expired.

However, Kraft Foods China said that the batch was imported as samples, not for sale, and the quantity - 41 kilograms - was very small.

Some 2.7 tons of Nestle Crunch chocolate bars were found to contain sorbitol, a sweetener that can cause bowel problems in large amounts.

The products, imported from Italy by the Shanghai Cortti Food Co, were destroyed.

Cortti is not an authorized Nestle dealer, and the bars were not imported by Nestle China nor sold by the company on China's mainland, Nestle Shanghai said.

A type of Shiseido sunscreen cream imported from Japan by the China Duty Free Group Co Ltd was destroyed for containing cadmium.

Exposure to a large amount of cadmium can lead to poisoning. Inhalation may harm the respiratory system, liver and kidneys, and cause osteoporosis, doctors said.

The products that failed were among 247 imported food and cosmetic items found to have quality-related problems in January. They included beverages, chocolate, biscuits, baby formula, cakes, snacks, tomato sauce and brandy.

They had expired or had excessive bacteria, heavy metals, additives or banned substances, had registered high acid levels or had labeling problems.

Zhang Xiaojing, a Shanghai consumer, said: "I have been used to all this, bacteria and excessive amounts of some substances, and now it seems that only poisonous cases would be a big deal."


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