Horsemeat has been causing a scandal in Europe since it was discovered in Burger King products
, and now "the other red meat" has made its way to the Swedish meatballs sold in Ikea's retail furniture outlets.
The tasty morsels were pulled from Ikea freezers and cafeterias in 14 European countries after an official from the Czech State Veterinary Administration in the Czech Republic tested a sample of Ikea meatballs and reported that horsemeat was found in the 2.2-pound packages.
Meatballs are offered both in Ikea's in-house cafeterias and in frozen packages for customers to cook at home. On Monday, Ikea announced the product would be taken off the market until further notice.
Ikea outlets in Sweden, Slovakia, Hungary, Britain, France, the Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, and Ireland were affected by the move. Officials said products from the same batches were sent to all of them, according to the BBC
Ikea made the announcement on its Facebook page
and then later released a statement.
“We are now initiating further tests on the same production batch in which the Czech Republic authorities found indications of horse meat. We do not tolerate any other ingredients than the ones stipulated in our recipes or specifications, secured through set standards, certifications and product analysis by accredited laboratories,” the statement said.
The Associated Press reported that 1,675 pounds of the meatballs have been stopped from reaching stores.
Two weeks ago, it was reported that horsemeat was found in school lunches and hospital meals
, as well as at grocery stores and in frozen dinners. Prior to that, horsemeat was found in Burger King products in the United Kingdom, and at least 13 nations were affected by mislabeled meat.
The BBC reported that European Union agriculture ministers were set to meet Monday to discuss how to increase accountability and trace the source of meat throughout the region.
The Telegraph published an expose Sunday evening revealing an underworld of secret dealings and late-night trading in which horses from Polish farms are whisked across the European Union for processing as food..
"Who profits from the trade, and what checks to ensure the horses are safe to eat are, at best, questionable," the report said.
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