Source: Agencies | 2013-2-28 | NEWSPAPER EDITION
IKEA has stopped selling all minced meat products from its main supplier, after taking its trademark meatballs from the same Swedish supplier off menus over concerns they contained horsemeat.
The world's No. 1 furniture retailer, known also for restaurants at its huge out-of-town stores, said yesterday it had withdrawn Familjen Dafgard's IKEA-branded wiener sausages from stores in France, Spain, Britain, Ireland and Portugal, as well as stuffed cabbages and veal burgers in Sweden.
The move comes two days after Czech food inspectors found traces of horsemeat in Ikea's Swedish-made meatballs, prompting the company to pull them from store shelves in 21 European countries and in China's Hong Kong, Thailand and the Dominican Republic.
Stores in other countries, including the US and Canada, were not affected because they received meatballs from a different supplier.
Tests in the Czech Republic on Monday showed a batch of meatballs from Sweden's Familjen Dafgard contained horse.
"Based on some hundred test results that we have received so far, there are a few indications of horsemeat," IKEA said in a statement. "We are now, together with our supplier and third party experts, reviewing how we can reinforce routines to avoid similar situations in the future."
A 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 food industry.
Familjen Dafgard is the only Swedish firm so far to confirm undeclared horse in its meat products amid the scandal.
It said yesterday its own tests confirmed the batch tested by Czech inspectors, and three other batches, contained horse.
All these samples contained 1-10 percent horsemeat, said Lennart Nilsson, a veterinary inspector at Sweden's National Food Agency of the tests run by Familjen Dafgard.
The supplier said it was still trying to establish where its own meat suppliers had sourced the meat in the four batches.
Nilsson said Familjen Dafgard buys meat in Sweden and elsewhere in the European Union although the meat may well originate from third parties outside the union.