IKEA takes meatballs off Europe menus after horsemeat found

Food

Sweden's IKEA stopped nearly all sales of meatballs at its furniture store cafeterias across Europe after tests in the Czech Republic on Monday showed some contained horsemeat. The world's No. 1 furniture retailer, known also for the signature restaurants at its huge out-of-town stores, said it was pulling all meatballs produced by its main supplier in Sweden after the tests showed horsemeat in its beef and pork meatballs. A European scandal erupted last month when tests in Ireland revealed some beef products contained horsemeat, triggering recalls of ready-made meals in several countries and damaging confidence in Europe's vast and complex food industry. Meatballs, a famous Swedish dish often served with mashed potatoes, gravy and lingonberry jam, have become a trademark for IKEA, which sells them hot from the in-store cafeterias and packaged off the shelf. The vast majority of IKEA's meatballs are made by Sweden's Familjen Dafgard, which said on its website that it was investigating the situation and would receive further test results in coming days. Besides the Czech Republic, the batch containing horsemeat had also been on sale in Britain, Portugal, Netherlands, Belgium, Slovakia, Hungary, France, Italy, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland. Magnusson said the test results would determine the percentage of horsemeat in the specific batch of meatballs. There was no indication that any other batch had been affected. Earlier this month, food manufacturer Findus was forced to recall thousands of packages of frozen beef lasagnes in Sweden after discovering they contained 60 to 100 percent horsemeat.

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