Ikea fined $160 in India after worm found in food

In picture: The worm found by an Ikea India customer in vegetable biryani. | Picture credti: Twitter/Abeed Mohammad

Global do-it-yourself furniture brand-turned-multi-product company Ikea was recently fined Rs 11,500 – roughly $160 – in India after a customer found a worm in the food served at its only outlet in the country.

Ikea, which had opened its first store in India in the South Indian city of Hyderabad less than a month ago, apologised for the gaffe in the first tweet from the official handle of its India arm.

This was hardly the first time a multinational chain’s hospitality standards had been found wanting in Hyderabad. A Subway outlet in the city was closed earlier this year after a customer found cockroaches in their beverage.

‘Very unfair’

The Ikea incident is believed to have taken place on August 21, with the affected customer tweeting about it the same day.

Hyderabad-resident Abeed Mohammad said in his tweet, in which he also tagged several news outlets and the Hyderabad Police: “Today I found caterpillar in my veg biryani. Very unfair of food [sic].”

He also attached a photo of the insect – which looks more like a worm – with the tweet, along with an image of the invoice of his purchase.

Read the tweet here:

In response to Mohammad’s tweet, the Ikea India handle wrote its first Twitter post, saying: “We apologize for the unfortunate experience. We are investigating the matter and will take immediate corrective action. At IKEA, we have the strictest guidelines when it comes to food quality as customer health and safety are something we care about deeply. [sic]”

Read the tweet here:

Ikea fined

However, the apology may now be the least of the problems for Ikea India, because the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) is now on their case.

According to a report in The News Minute, GHMC officials fined the outlet Rs 11,500 – roughly $160, going by the current exchange rate – for the food code violation.

The GHMC officials also reportedly collected samples of various food items from the Ikea Hyderabad outlet and sent them for bacteriological testing.

It may be noted that while Ikea is known mostly for its meatball offerings the world over, it Indianised its menu before opening the Hyderabad outlet, and the vegetarian biryani is one such common Indian dish available at the outlet.

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