IKEA Pulls Meatballs From Stores In 14 European Stores Because Of Yup, Horsemeat

Perhaps you thought the horsemeat crisis spreading across Europe had been contained or even just quieted down for a bit. But no, yet another retailer has announced the discovery of horsemeat in its food, and this time it’s a big one. IKEA says it’s pulled meatballs from stores in 14 European countries after the Czech Republic store said it found horsemeat in the product there.

Although IKEA said it’d tested meatballs on its own two weeks ago and hadn’t detected any horse DNA, it said it had already made the decision to pull some products from its Swedish stores because of what the Czech Republic reported finding, reports the New York Times.

It then stopped the sales “of the concerned batch” of meatballs in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland.

“We are now initiating further tests on the same production batch in which the Czech Republic authorities found indications of horse meat,” Ikea added in a statement, adding that results are coming soon. “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 statement said.

Anyone who’s ever been to an IKEA knows the joy those meatballs can bring to shoppers, wearied by the hike through the ginormous showrooms. You can even buy them frozen to take home and eat, making them quite a popular item.

But alas, the horsemeat crisis is taking no prisoners as it makes its way across the continent. It all started with discoveries in Ireland and the United Kingdom in mid-January and since then has spiraled ever wider.

Ministers for the European Union met recently in Brussels to try to figure out how to get a lid on this thing, as at least a dozen countries have been wrapped up in the problem.  Tests of meat products have been stepped up across Europe to try and prevent any more horsemeat from popping up in stores.

Once again, authorities have stressed that it isn’t a matter of public health as horsemeat isn’t bad for consumers, but transparency in the food processing system. You want beef, you should be eating beef. And not Mr. Ed.

U.S. officials have said it’s highly unlikely that the horsemeat issue will cross the pond and land on our shores, as we don’t import beef from any of the companies involved in Europe and don’t allow horses to be slaughtered for consumption in this country. Fingers crossed, eh?

Ikea Withdraws Meatballs After Horse Meat Is Found [New York Times]