Ikea pulled its beloved Swedish meatball dish off the company's specialty foods menu in 14 European countries after Czech inspectors found traces of horse meat in frozen meatballs supposedly made of beef and pork.
According to the BBC, the "concerned batch" of meatballs were shipped to Ikea outlets in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, France, the U.K., Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and the Republic of Ireland. The retailer also stopped sales of the meatballs in Sweden.
“We are now initiating further tests on the same production batch in which the Czech Republic authorities found indications of horse meat,” the furniture giant said in a statement. "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."
Officials discovered the tainted meatballs just as European Union ministers met in Belgium to discuss the escalating food scandal already affecting a number of retailers throughout the continent. It all started in Ireland last month, when supermarket giant Tesco found traces of horse DNA in its burgers. Burger King severed ties with a beef supplier after horse meat was found at their facility in Ireland. Just a week ago, Nestle, the world's largest food company, pulled two frozen pasta meals from stores in Italian and Spain after discovering horse DNA.