Arts & Entertainment

Horsemeat found in IKEA's meatballs

For many, Swedish meatballs are part of the allure of shopping at IKEA.
For many, Swedish meatballs are part of the allure of shopping at IKEA.
/Marit & Toomas Hinnosaar/Flickr

Bad news for those whose shopping trips at IKEA are partly motivated by the allure of the store's famous meatballs: The giant Swedish furniture retailer on Monday said it had recalled a batch of frozen meatballs sent to more than a dozen European countries after tests detected traces of horsemeat.

Food inspectors in the Czech Republic discovered the horsemeat DNA last week in 2.2-pound packs of frozen meatballs products labeled as beef and pork and sold under the name Koettbullar.

IKEA says it has pulled frozen meatballs from the same batch that were sent to its stores in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, France, the U.K., Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Cyprus, Greece, Spain and Belgium, The Wall Street Journal reports. The product was also removed from IKEA stores in Sweden.

"As soon as we received information from the Czech authorities, we stopped sales of that particular production batch," IKEA spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson told the Journal.

"Our own checks have shown no traces of horse meat. Now we must of course look into this further," IKEA said in a statement posted on its website.

All the meatballs come from the same supplier, Magnusson told the Associated Press, but she says shipments to the U.S. and other countries weren't affected.

IKEA is the latest retailer to be swept up in the ever-widening European horsemeat scandal. Horsemeat has been detected in a wide array of products, from frozen lasagnas to burger meat sold to Burger King's U.K. operations and in a meat pasta sauce sold by Wal-Mart's U.K. supermarket chain, Asda.

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