Allergic reaction to milk in Japan started internal investigation

IKEA expands chocolate recall due to allergen concerns

By Joseph James Whitworth

- Last updated on GMT

The six additional products recalled. Picture: IKEA
The six additional products recalled. Picture: IKEA

Related tags Asthma

IKEA has expanded a chocolate recall with a further six products from more than 40 countries because of insufficient labelling of hazelnuts and almonds.

The firm said the presence of hazelnut and almond has been frequently detected which means products are not suitable for people allergic or sensitive to those allergens.

No allergic reactions have been reported to IKEA in connection with the six additional products.

Countries affected by the recall include Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Czech Republic, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, UK and US.

Levels and frequency of presence

Product information on the labels of the affected chocolate products lists allergens such as milk and nuts after a “may contain” statement, a spokeswoman for IKEA told us.

“Considering the levels of milk detected in dark chocolate, and the frequency of presence of hazelnut and almonds in the additional six chocolate products, the product information on the product label does not state the presence clearly enough and could possibly be misleading and is therefore not interpreted as compliant with legislation in several markets.”

ikea choc recall
Initial recalled products. Picture: IKEA

IKEA recalled dark chocolate bars, CHOKLAD MÖRK 60% and CHOKLAD MÖRK 70%, due to insufficiently declared presence of milk and hazelnut from more than 40 countries in June.

There was one case of an allergic reaction to milk reported to IKEA in Japan, which started the internal investigation and lead to the recall of both dark chocolate bars.

Product was recalled from countries such as Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Dominican Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Lithuania, Malaysia, Morocco, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovakia, South Korea, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, the UAE, UK and US.

IKEA said the levels of hazelnut detected might be compliant with requirements in several markets but the presence of milk was higher than what it considered acceptable.

Asked how the first recall led to the second one, the firm said it made further internal investigations on other branded chocolate products from the same supplier.

Made in Spain and Belgium

The spokeswoman said affected chocolate products are produced in Spain and Belgium.

"As part of the internal investigation the production for chocolate products has been temporarily stopped.

"We are working with our supplier to find actions in production and labelling to fit our IKEA requirements in order to start sales of IKEA branded chocolate products again."

The company committed to sourcing 100% UTZ certified cocoa in its chocolate range from last year.

IKEA said chocolate returned by customers need to be destroyed.

“For chocolate products blocked in our warehouses and stores, we are exploring other solutions in order to avoid unnecessary scrapping and food waste,” ​said the spokeswoman.

“As a global company, IKEA must comply with all relevant standards and legislation on the markets where IKEA products are sold.

“Food labelling requirements can differ from market to market, but we strive to work with food safety in an equal manner across markets.”

Related topics Regulation & safety Chocolate

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