Horsemeat found in Ikea meatballs

Ikea has withdrawn a batch of meatballs from its UK stores after traces of horsemeat were discovered in the supply chain.

The Swedish furniture store said Czech Republic inspectors found horse DNA in a consignment of products labelled as “beef and pork meatballs” in the city of Brno last week.

The Czech State Veterinary Administration said it had found horsemeat in 1kg packs of frozen meatballs made in Sweden and shipped to the Czech Republic for sale in Ikea stores there. Ikea – the world’s biggest furniture retauler – said a single Swedish supplier, which it was not naming at the moment, had made the meatballs.

But the consignment – a total of 760kg of meatballs – had not been distributed to consumers, it added.

Meatballs from the same batch had been distributed to the UK, Slovakia, Hungary, France, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland.

Ikea said it had stopped the consignment from reaching shelves in its 18 UK stores.

A spokesman for Ikea in the UK said the company took the test result from the Czech Republic “seriously”.

“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 horsemeat,” added the spokesman.

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 horsemeat. We are expecting test results in the coming days and will then be able to give more information.”

EU ministers, including DEFRA secretary Owen Paterson, are meeting in Brussels to discuss the latest developments in the horsemeat scandal today (Monday 25 February).

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