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IKEA Recalls Swedish Meatballs After Traces of Horse Meat Discovered by Czech Authorities

Update Date: Feb 25, 2013 11:26 AM EST
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For those who only look forward to furniture shopping in IKEA because of the store's tasty meatballs, here's some news that'll make you think twice: The Swedish furniture giant on Monday said it had recalled some of its frozen meatballs in at least 15 European countries after Czech food inspectors detected traces of horsemeat in the meatballs labeled as beef and pork.

"We take this very seriously and have withdrawn one-kilo bags of frozen meatballs from Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Cyprus, Greece and Ireland," as well as Sweden, said company spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson, according to AFP.

Ikea's frozen meatballs have also been removed from shelves in Denmark, according to the spokesman for Ikea Denmark.

"We have today been informed that our meatballs could contain traces of horsemeat, based on a test done in the Czech Republic," Ikea said in a statement. "Our own tests haven't shown any traces of horsemeat. We now obviously have to study this further," the statement added.

Authorities in Czech Republic detected the horsemeat DNA last week in 2.2-pound batches of frozen meatball products labeled as beef and pork and sold under the name "Koettbullar."

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

Magnusson told the Associated Press that all the meatballs come from the same supplier. AFP reported that the company that produces the meatballs sold by Ikea in most European countries is called Dafgaard. However, Magnusson told AP shipments to the US and other countries weren't affected.

Swedish authorities said that Czech food inspectors detected traces of horsemeat in one of three tests they performed.

"They still don't know the amount (of horsemeat) involved," Karin Cerenius of Sweden's National Food Agency said, according to AFP.

The Swedish furniture retailer is the latest company to be caught in the European horsemeat scandal. Horse DNA has been discovered in products ranging from frozen lasagnas in UK groceries to beef patties sold in Burger King's European restaurants.

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