Ikea has removed a batch of almond cakes from its restaurants in 23 countries after bacteria normally found in faecal matter was discovered.
Chinese authorities confirmed that the Swedish-made cakes had failed tests "for containing excessive levels of coliform bacteria", the Shanghai Daily website wrote.
The Swedish furniture giant said 1,800 Taarta Chokladkrokant cakes - described on its website as an almond cake with chocolate, butter cream and butterscotch - were destroyed in December after being intercepted by Chinese customs.
"These cakes never reached our stores," said Ikea spokeswoman YIva Magnusson.
"There are indications that the levels of bacteria found are low but we obviously have to know the exact amount, and find out how this happened," she added.
Ikea told Sky News that the countries affected do not include the UK.
A microbiologist at the Swedish National Food Agency, Mats Lindblad, said coliform bacteria "could be an indication of faecal contamination, though not always".
He said the bacteria was not normally dangerous for consumers.
Last week, Ikea pulled its trademark meatballs off the shelves in 25 countries after Czech authorities found traces of horse DNA in a batch of 1kg bags of frozen meatballs.
"It's very important to us that the products our customers buy are safe and secure to use and to eat," Ms Magnusson said.