Ikea hit by horsemeat scandal after meatballs test positive
By Jay Keller
Consumer trust in Ikea wavered this week when the Swedish furniture giant stopped all sales of the fan-favorite Ikea meatballs after testing showed traces of horse meat in samples collected from products labeled beef and pork.
The Ikea Group said on Tuesday they are still testing the same batch that Czech authorities found indications of horse meat on Monday and the results would be available later this week.
Ikea remains optimistic and also confirmed that testing on 12 specimens from different batches of meatballs, those not found by Czech authorities, showed no traces of horse meat.
“We are looking seriously at the test results from the Czech Republic, which indicates the presence of horse meat in a lot of our meatballs,” Ikea Sweden Food Manager Ann Holster said in a company statement on Monday.
In an effort to quell customer concerns, Holster continued to say that Ikea was removing the fan-favorite meatballs as a precaution until further company testing could be completed.
All Ikea meatballs sold at U.S. locations, according to Monday’s statement from Ikea U.S., are made according to standards set by the USDA with beef and pork sourced only from suppliers in the U.S. and Canada.
Ikea also said it joined other European retailers by expanding DNA analysis of all meat two weeks ago at the request of British regulators who asked all retailers to initiate testing.
Reports of new horse meat DNA evidence in beef products surfaced on Friday after Britain’s food regulator published results of new testing that brought to 35 the total number of products affected.
The Food Standards Agency said on Friday that new testing through Feb. 15 uncovered six additional products containing horse DNA in 1,133 samples from manufacturers, retailers, caterers and wholesalers throughout the U.K. ( Complete FSA Findings )
Additionally, two more positive cases were included in the FSA report which surfaced outside of the formal testing program or from local reports.
The agency also said that no tests to date on samples containing horse DNA have found the veterinary medicine phenylbutazone which is also commonly known as “bute.”
The FSA said on Friday that overall, 35 of 3,634 results contained horse DNA through the first two phases of testing and that all products have been named and withdrawn from sale.
More Horse Meat Scandal Articles:
Horse meat scandal: New cases surface as higher costs loom (February 22nd, 2013)
Horse meat scandal: With Nestle recall, European customers trust less (February 19th, 2013)
Burger King says no horse meat in burgers; Tesco drops U.K. beef supplier (February 4th, 2013)
Burger King drops U.K. beef supplier over horse-meat scandal (January 24th, 2013)