Whoops! The horse meat in beef products crisis that has come over Europe reached an all-time high as another big retail victim fell into its grasp. Horse meat has been detected in a wide array of products, from lasagnas to burger meat sold to Burger King’s UK operations, and in a meat pasta sauce sold by Wal-Mart’s UK supermarkets chain, Asda.
Now, food inspectors in the Czech Republic have discovered horse meat DNA in 2.2-pound packs of frozen meatballs labeled as beef and pork and sold under the name Köttbullar.
Yes, the popular IKEA Swedish meatballs.
IKEA confirmed that they have since pulled frozen meatballs from the same batch that were sent to its stores in Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, France, the UK, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Ireland, Cyprus, Greece, Spain, and Belgium. The product was also removed from Ikea stores in Sweden.
In an official statement, they stated:
We are now initiating further tests on the same production batch in which the Czech Republic authorities found indications of horse meat. 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.
They also stressed that they made the decision even though its own tests two weeks ago had not detected horse DNA.
Results of these further tests were expected in the coming days.
Although the Singapore branch of IKEA are fully aware that the meatballs at its cafeterias contain only beef and pork sourced and produced from Australia, on top of a “halal” line at IKEA Tampines where meatballs containing a mixture of chicken from Brazil and beef from Australia are sold, they aren’t taking any chances.
As precautionary measures, IKEA Singapore has stopped selling meatballs for the time being until results from DNA testing are out. The test results, which are expected to be ready by the middle of next week, will confirm that there are no indications of horse meat in the meatballs.