Published Monday, 25 February 2013
IKEA says it has removed the batch in question from sale. (© Getty)
The Swedish company said only one batch was being taken off the shelves and that it did not affect the food served in its restaurants.
The contaminated meat was discovered in frozen meatballs labelled as beef and pork which were sent to the Czech Republic for sale in stores there.
A spokesperson for the company said that no traces of horsemeat had been found previously, after twelve samples of different batches tested negative.
"Ikea is committed to serving and selling high quality food that is safe, healthy and produced with care for the environment and the people who produce it," he said.
"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 results of further tests carried out are expected in the coming days.
Sales of the affected range have been halted in across Europe, as well as the UK and Ireland stores.
Ikea has 18 stores across the UK, including one at Holywood Exchange in Belfast. There is also a store in Dublin in the Republic of Ireland.
Horse meat has been found in a number of processed meat products sold in the UK, sparking a Europe-wide investigation into the source of the contamination.
Last month traces of horse DNA were found in frozen burgers made at Co Monaghan-based Silvercrest, part of ABP Food Group - with 29% horse meat found in Tesco Everyday Value beef burgers.
In Northern Ireland, it was revealed last week that burgers supplied to Loughry and Greenmount agricultural colleges were found to contain horse meat.
Asda also removed products after horsemeat was found on the premises of Newry company Freeza meats, although it was quarantined and was not used in their food production.
The product had been supplied from Irish firm McAdam Foods.
Raw material from Rangeland Foods, the third Co Monaghan company involved, was found to contain 75% equine DNA.
Earlier this month, it was also discovered that Findus beef lasagnes contained up to 100% horsemeat.
13 October 1925
Margaret Hilda Roberts born in Grantham, Lincolnshire.
23 February 1950
Fights and loses her first parliamentary election.
13 December 1951
08 October 1959
Elected Conservative MP for Finchley.
09 October 1961
Junior minister of pensions and national insurance.
20 June 1970
Secretary of state for education and science.
11 February 1975
Wins leadership challenge against Edward Heath.
04 May 1979
Becomes the UK’s first female prime minister.
02 April 1982
Argentina invades the Falkland Islands.
14 June 1982
Argentina surrenders as Thatcher known as "Iron Lady".
09 June 1983
Wins her second general election.
12 October 1984
Is the target of an IRA bomb during the Conservative conference in Brighton.
11 June 1987
Wins a third general election.
28 November 1990
Leaves Downing Street after losing the support of her party.
30 June 1992
Takes her seat in the House of Lords as Baroness Thatcher of Kesteven.
26 June 2003
Husband Denis dies at the age of 88.
23 November 2009
Returns to Downing Street for the unveiling of an official portrait.
08 June 2010
David Cameron invites her to Downing Street for a private meeting.
08 April 2013
Dies after a stroke at the age of 87.
The life of Margaret Thatcher
© UTV News