Swedish furniture giant IKEA resumes selling vegetarian biryani in Hyderabad, India, 5 months after a customer found a caterpillar in the dish.
Last September, a customer alerted the food safety officer of the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation (GHMC) along with other officials to inspect the store after finding a caterpillar in the dish.
The GHMC fined IKEA Rs 11,500 ($160) for the mistake and issued notices to the IKEA manager as well as Haldirams, the provider of the store’s meals.
A spokesperson for IKEA India said in a statement: “We regret the incident and apologize to our customer for the unfortunate experience.”
“We would like to assure him and everyone else that we are investigating the matter currently to assess what happened and take immediate corrective action.”
IKEA then decided to pull out the vegetarian biryani to avoid further damage and added that it takes food safety and quality very seriously.
Now, after a 5-month gap, the company is ready to sell the vegetarian meal again.
“Today is the first day we have started reselling vegetarian biryani,” said John Achillea, store manager at IKEA Hyderabad, during the relaunch of the vegetarian biryani.
He also confirmed that the vegetarian biryani is now made in-house compared to before but is still being sold for only Rs 99.
IKEA opened its very first India store in Hyderabad on August 9, 2018. It features a 1,000-seater restaurant, which is confirmed by the store as its largest worldwide.
The restaurant also offers 50% Swedish specialties like vegetarian meatballs and 50% local dishes like samosas and biryani.