Ikea caught up in horsemeat scandal
Swedish furniture giant Ikea has withdrawn its own-label meatballs from sale in at least 16 European countries after Czech authorities found horsemeat in the product.
One-kilogram bags from the suspect batch of frozen meatballs had been pulled from the shelves in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Britain, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Cyprus, Greece and Ireland, the company said.
Stores in Sweden, Denmark, France and Romania withdrew meatballs from sale as a precautionary measure.
“We take this very seriously,” company spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson said.
An Ikea press officer told the ABC that Australian consumers were not affected by the action, as meatballs sold in its stores here are made locally.
Ikea stores in the US, Canada, and Japan are also unaffected due to having different suppliers to the horsemeat-affected Europe.
The furniture retailer is the latest group to become caught up in a Europe-wide scandal over the presence of horse meat in ready-made dishes that erupted in January when horse DNA was detected in beefburgers in Britain and Ireland.
“We have today been informed that our meatballs could contain traces of horse meat, based on a test done in the Czech Republic,” Ikea said in a statement on Monday.
“Our own tests haven’t shown any traces of horse meat. We now obviously have to study this further,” it said.
The affected production batch had been pulled from shelves due to “customer concerns” but others remained on sale, the firm said.
Meanwhile Swiss food giant Nestle said it had stopped using a Spanish supplier after tests determined there was horse DNA in products supposedly containing pure beef.
Nestle, which last week was forced to yank products off the shelves in Spanish and Italian supermarkets after detecting horsemeat in deliveries from a German supplier, said on Monday it would stop buying all products from Spanish group Servocar.
The horsemeat scandal has seen sales of frozen prepared dishes containing beef plummet by 45 per cent in France, a study showed on Monday.
AFP & Inside Retail
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