Ikea pulls meatballs from the oven in all stores in Sweden. Photo: Heiko Junge/Scanpix
Horsemeat scandal

Ikea stops meatball sales in 16 countries

Ikea has stopped all sales of meatballs in Sweden after Czech food inspectors say they have discovered horsemeat in Swedish-produced meatballs. The company has also stopped selling meatballs from the particular batch in question in 12 countries inside the EU, while stores in Sweden, Denmark, France and Romania have stopped selling meatballs as a precautionary measure, news agency AFP reports.

If the Czech food inspectors' information is correct, this would be the first time horsemeat has been found in food produced in Sweden.

Sara Paulson, press spokesperson for Ikea in Sweden, says that in consideration towards customers who may be worried, the company is stopping sales of all meatballs in Sweden.

Dafgårds has produced meatballs for Ikea stores in the EU for the past three years. The Dafgårds factory is located outside of Lidköping.

Karin Cerenius, the National Food Agency’s head of food screening in Västra Götaland County, says Dafgårds has been in contact with Czech authorities.

Czech inspectors made three inspections and horsemeat turned up in one of them. That could be due to contamination, if there were only traces of horsemeat in the meatballs. But, “If it’s over one percent then we consider this to be horsemeat,” Cerenius tells news agency TT.

Reuters news agency reports that the Czech State Veterinary Institute reported its findings to the EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed.

Minister open to national checks on meat production

Agriculture Minister Eskil Erlandsson has said he is considering centralizing all checks in the meat production process. Today the National Food Agency inspects around 350 larger meat producers, while municipalities perform checks on local producers and butchers.

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