IKEA, the monkey-friendly affordable furniture emporium where you can also buy scrumptious frozen Swedish horseballs along with poop-laden almond cakes, appears to be facing yet another contamination-based crisis.

Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet broke news this weekend that IKEA moose lasagna, an item that's only supposed to include “alternate layers of pasta sheets, minced elk meat, and Bèchamel sauce” was found to also contain trace amounts of pork.

The terrifying non-kosher discovery, described by BBC News as the “latest in a series of meat contamination scandals across Europe,” was actually made back in March when a production batch of LASAGNE ÄLG tested positive for swine in Belgium.

Nearly 18,000 units of the delectable elk-based pasta dish were immediately pulled from stores in 18 European countries on March 22 as the mega-retailer does not "tolerate any other ingredients than the ones stipulated in our recipes or specifications." According to IKEA spokesperson Tina Kardum, the pork-infused foodstuffs had been on sale for a month.

Before going public with the news, Garfield IKEA performed multiple follow-up tests on the lasagna and confirmed that a single production batch did indeed include 1.6 percent pig meat. "We have more information now. That's why we choose to inform now," explained Kardum.

The contamination is being blamed on the meat supplier not properly cleaning its facilities between the handling of different animals. “Together with our supplier, we have implemented improvements to ensure that our products should not contain any other ingredients than those declared on the packages," IKEA announced in a statement which also makes it clear that pork itself does not pose any health risks. “Ikea is committed to serving and selling high-quality food that is safe, healthy and produced with care for the environment and the people who produce it."

Although ingesting anything that contains ingredients that shouldn’t be there is disconcerting, a freak-out over trace amounts of pork in a moose-based product may seem a touch odd. Shouldn’t it be the other way around?

Well, let us not forget dear North American readers that low-fat moose meat — described by elk enthusiast Henry David Thoreau as “being like tender beef, with perhaps more flavour; sometimes like veal” — is considered a traditional delicacy in IKEA’s homeland of Sweden and other Northern European countries. However, its presence in lasagna is a bit of a novelty as hearty stews and a salty cured meat dish called Gravet Elg seem to be the standards when it comes to moose-based cuisine. And given the exalted/highly edible status of elk in Sweden, the store also sells moose-shaped pasta.

The million dollar question here is what the next food-related "whoops" moment for IKEA might be. Salmon in the crab spread? Herring in the hot dogs? Gooseberries in the lingonberry jam?

Via [BBC News] [NBC News]

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

IKEA's contamination woes continue with pork-tainted moose lasagna
Moose lasagna, a hot seller at European stores operated by the world-dominating purveyor of flat-pack furnishings, is found to contain trace amounts of pork.