Who’s hungry for some IKEA meatballs? They’re back on the menu in Europe. Before you get all squirrelly about it in the stomach region due to that horsemeat scare that caused the home goods store to stop selling them in Europe, relax. The chain says its new approach to food is “farm to fork.” Ostensibly, horse farms are not included.
The company’s head of foods announced the return of the meatballs, touting new supply chain controls to ensure that the meat in the meatballs is what it says it is — namely, not of the pony variety.
IKEA’s top food executive told Reuters that in-store cafeterias in Sweden, Denmark and Finland all welcomed back meatballs as of today, and all stores in Europe should have them back by mid-April.
“We want to have a traceability standard in place, tracing meat from farm to fork,” he said. ”That means we are establishing an auditing scheme for the suppliers and we are taking out certain elements in the supply chain, such as traders. We are also, for example, looking at having slaughtering and deboning together.”
IKEA’s meatball supplier in turn dropped eight of its 15 suppliers during the horse snafu, and the retailer is going to shorten the supply chain even more to make sure all meat can be traced back to its source. It’s also hiring external consultants to keep tabs on all abattoirs involved.
Even with all of the above reassurances, we’re sure Europeans are still going to be a bit wary of any beef products for a while yet, and we don’t blame’em.