Horse Meat Found in IKEA Swedish Meatballs

Swedish meatball plate
Swedish meatball plate

Across the Atlantic, the horse meat scandal continues to rock Europe -- and now it appears that IKEA's Swedish Köttbullar meatballs are the latest ready-made product found to contain horse meat. The Czech State Veterinary Administration alerted the public to traces of horse DNA found in meatballs prepared for Czech branches of the furniture mega-retailer. And it's not just in the Czech Republic, as countries like Belgium, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the Netherlands have received shipments as well. IKEA has since removed the meatballs from its stores in these countries.

IKEA USA has released a press release on its page, indicating that the Swedish meatballs sold and serve in the U.S. are made of beef and pork. Still, a quick check on the U.S. IKEA website rendered no search result of the meatballs -- whether its image or any mention of it other than the context of the press release, suggesting a temporary scrub of the product.

All meatballs sold in our IKEA US stores are sourced from a US supplier. When this issue first came to light in Europe, we mapped the sources of the meat in our meatballs. Based on the results of our mapping, we can confirm that the contents of the meatballs follow the IKEA recipe and contain only beef and pork from animals raised in the US and Canada. All beef and pork from the US and Canada must comply with USDA guidelines.

It all started in mid-January when Irish food authorities reported finding traces of horse DNA in 10 out of 27 beef burger products in such brands as Tesco and Aldi. Burger King would later severe their ties with Silvercrest, the plant that supplied the chain with questionable meat. Since then, more than 200 million burgers have been recalled.

Burgers weren't the only foods affected. On Feb. 4, Swedish food manufacturer Findus began recalling its beef "lasagne" line from British stores after Comigel -- its French manufacturer -- brought to light the possibility of horse meat in the frozen pasta entrees. Aldi soon followed in suit, removing Today's Special Frozen Beef Lasagne and Today's Special Frozen Spaghetti Bolognese -- products from Comigel -- as well.

See more:

- Activists Call for Food Safety Czar's Ouster

- FDA Proposes Tough New Food Safety Rules

- Kellogg's Recalls Special K Due to Glass Pieces


Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Follow the author on Twitter at @chrstnchiao.

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