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Food FYI: Ikea pulls meatballs in Europe after horse meat test

February 25, 2013|By Betty Hallock
  • Ikea said it is pulling one batch of its frozen meatballs off some store shelves in Europe.
Ikea said it is pulling one batch of its frozen meatballs off some store shelves… (AFP/ Getty Images )

Tests of Ikea meatballs in the Czech Republic that revealed traces of horse meat caused the Swedish furniture giant to pull some of its frozen meatballs off shelves in stores in Britain and in other countries.

The 1-kilogram packages of meatballs were made in Sweden and labeled as containing beef and pork, the BBC reported. The BBC said authorities in the Czech Republic found traces of horse meat in the meatballs as part of its testing program.

In January, horse and pig DNA discovered in burgers sold to stores and restaurants including British supermarket giant Tesco sparked a scandal in Ireland and Britain that has since spread across Europe.

Reuters said that the company has suspended the sale of almost all meatballs in its cafeterias across Europe. The majority of Ikea's meatballs are made by Familjen Dafgard, which is investigating the situation, according to its website. 

The withdrawals did not affect meatballs in Norway, Russia, some in Switzerland and Poland, as well as the U.S., Canada, Australia and Japan, which receive meatballs from other suppliers.

Ikea said that it had not detected horse meat in its products, stating to the BBC: "Already two weeks ago, Ikea Group initiated DNA analyses of all meat products in the range. Twelve tested samples of different batches of meatballs showed no traces of horse meat.

"To validate the test results, we are now initiating further tests on the same production batch in which the Czech Republic authorities found indications of horse meat."

The company said that "a sales stop" of the concerned batch affected Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovakia, Spain and Sweden but that the product line would otherwise remain on sale. The move did not affect the supply of meatballs to Ikea restaurants in Britain.

Meanwhile, European Union agriculture ministers who are meeting in Brussels are expected to address the horse meat scandal, the BBC said.


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