IKEA withdraws meatballs over horse meat

IKEA withdraws meatballs over horse meat

Furniture giant Ikea has withdrawn a batch of meatballs from sale in its UK and Ireland stores after horse meat was discovered in the food product.

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.


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