Meatballs In Russia Free Of Horse, Says IKEA
Published: February 27, 2013 (Issue # 1748)
MOSCOW — Swedish furniture giant Ikea said meatballs sold in its 14 stores in Russia are not affected by a European recall over fears of horse meat.
Ikea said the frozen meatballs that it sells locally use certified Russian ingredients and it will not suspend sales.
“We only use ingredients that are recorded in recipes and specifications registered in accredited laboratories,” the Ikea press service said in a statement carried by Interfax.
The Ikea group initiated DNA tests on its entire range of meat products globally two weeks ago amid a horse meat scandal in Europe and found no trace of horse meat in 12 sample batches supplied by its various divisions. Ikea Russia supplied meatballs for the tests, the company statement said.
Ikea plans new tests to “validate” the findings of authorities in the Czech Republic, who said they found horse DNA in tests of 1-kilogram packs of frozen meatballs labeled as beef and pork.
The Czech State Veterinary Administration said it tested two batches of Ikea meatballs, one of which contained horse meat. It did not say how much.
Meatballs from the same batch had been sent from a Swedish supplier to 12 other European countries — Slovakia, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland — and will be withdrawn in all of them, Ikea said.
The company has expanded the withdrawals to stores in 21 European countries and in Hong Kong, Thailand and the Dominican Republic, all of which used the same Swedish supplier.
Ikea spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson said that included most European countries, but not Russia and Norway, which use local suppliers. Stores in Poland and Switzerland use both local suppliers and the Swedish one, but would now only use locally produced meatballs, she said.
“This is an extraordinary effort to ensure that no one is worried,” Magnusson said.