26 Feb 2013

Ikea meatballs found to contain horsemeat

8:49 am on 26 February 2013

Swedish retailer Ikea has withdrawn meatballs from sale in 14 European countries after tests in the Czech Republic showed traces of horsemeat in them.

Meatballs from the same batch had been sent to Ikea stores in Slovakia, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and the Republic of Ireland.

Ikea's announcement on Monday came after the Czech State Veterinary Administration said horsemeat had been found in 1kg packs of meatballs manufactured in Sweden and shipped to the Czech Republic for sale in Ikea stores there

Horsemeat had also been found in beef burgers imported from Poland, the CSVA said.

Ikea insisted that it had not found any horsemeat during in-house tests on its food products, carried out two weeks ago, but said new tests would now be carried out.

Meanwhile, Nestle said it had found horse DNA in meat from Servocar, a Spanish supplier.

EU agriculture ministers are due to discuss the widening scandal. The BBC reports that labelling of the origin of meat and the traceability of the products will be high on their agenda.

Horsemeat was discovered in frozen meals and burgers in Britain and Ireland in January.