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Horse meat found in Ikea’s Swedish meatballs

By The Associated Press

This article was published February 25, 2013 at 8:12 a.m.

— Swedish furniture giant Ikea was drawn into Europe’s widening food labeling scandal Monday as authorities said they had detected horse meat in frozen meatballs labeled as beef and pork and sold in 13 countries across the continent.

The Czech State Veterinary Administration said that horse meat was found in one-kilogram packs of frozen meatballs made in Sweden and shipped to the Czech Republic for sale in Ikea stores there. A total of 1,675 pounds of the meatballs were stopped from reaching the shelves.

Ikea spokesman Ylva Magnusson said meatballs from the same batch had gone out to Slovakia, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland.

Magnusson said meatballs from that batch were taken off the shelves in Ikea stores in all those countries. Other shipments of meatballs were not affected, she added.

However, the company’s Swedish branch announced on its Facebook page that it won’t sell or serve any meatballs at its stores in Sweden out of concern for “potential worries among our customers.”

Magnusson said Ikea saw no reason to extend that guidance globally. She said Ikea was conducting its own tests of the affected batch. She also said that two weeks ago Ikea tested a range of frozen food products, including meatballs, and found no traces of horse meat.

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