Takashimaya Department Store Warns Not to Consume Sample Cake

Takashimaya Department Store had to announce a product recall after accidentally selling a sample product. 

The customer bought a sample cake last Sunday. A sample version of the cake, “Galette des Rois”, from DonQ, was accidentally sold to a customer. Subsequently, Takashimaya had to put out a notice warning the customer not to consume the product. The warning does not include the dangers of consuming the cake.

What Are Sample Cakes

Plastic or food-grade wax typically forms the base of Japanese sample cakes, also known as fake or display cakes. Bakeries and cafes in Japan often use these replicas in their windows to showcase the cakes and pastries they offer. The process of creating these samples involves detailed and intricate artistry to achieve a highly realistic appearance. Artisans craft them to mimic the texture, color, and even the glossiness of real food.

This practice is part of the larger Japanese craft of making food replicas, known as “shokuhin sampuru,” which can include a variety of fake food items, not just cakes. These samples serve as an effective visual menu for customers and are a unique aspect of Japanese food culture.

Dangers of Eating Sample Cake

Eating fake cakes or food replicas can be harmful for several reasons:

  • Non-Edible Materials: Manufacturers usually make these replicas from materials such as plastic, wax, or a type of resin. People should not consume these materials, as they can be toxic if ingested.
  • Choking Hazard: Small parts of these replicas, if broken off, could pose a choking hazard, especially for children.
  • Digestive Blockages: If larger pieces are swallowed, they could cause blockages in the digestive tract, which might require medical intervention.
  • Chemical Exposure: The chemicals used in the creation of these replicas might be harmful if ingested. They can cause irritation to the mouth, throat, and possibly the stomach lining.
  • Bacterial Contamination: Since these displays are not designed for consumption, they are not subject to the same hygiene standards as food. Dust and bacteria might accumulate on them, posing additional health risks if touched or accidentally ingested.

Online Reaction

Netizens have responded to this mistake, with a thread on Reddit and several comments on Takashimaya’s social media channel. Several commented on how real fake cakes can look and shared their own experiences in learning it was fake.

sample cake\


Japanese sample cake


We hope that the customer who purchased the sample cake have realised the mistake, and approached Takashimaya department store for a replacement


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