Ikea Horsmit: Some Assembly Required

The escalating crisis over horse meat in beef products in Europe claimed another big retail victim Monday when the Swedish furniture giant, Ikea, withdrew meatballs from sale in 14 European countries. -- The New York Times

To Our Valued Customers,

We wanted to reach out today to offer our sincerest apologies for inadvertently misrepresenting the nature of the "meat" in our meatballs. We know our customers come to Ikea for the high-quality product, top-of-the-line materials, and easy and innovative relationship-strengthening at-home building process, not for horse meat. You may have been coming for the horse meat, actually, but you probably didn't know that until now.

Of course you could look at the inclusion of horse in our meat-puree as just another aspect of Ikea's ongoing mission to bring European-chic into your home at affordable prices. But maybe you don't, or maybe, god forbid, you have a horse-meat allergy, and if that's the case, we want to extend our most heartfelt apologies.

We believe we've traced this oversight to its source.

The assembly instructions for the KÖTTBULLAR series of balled meat, like all our assembly instructions, are conveniently laid out as a series of pictures, so that everyone from our meat suppliers in Eastern Chingarzktastan to our meat assembly-linemen in The Peoples' Republic Of Misery can understand what they need to include, and in what order, to create a perfect KÖTTBULLAR product.

Unfortunately, our meat-blending partners in Subchina have informed us that our line-drawings of the four included meat-blobs required for assembly are not clear enough, and could easily be taken to represent any fist-sized lump of previously-pureed meat. It was this oversight that led to the inclusion of horsemeat, as well as certain other meats that no one is testing for, currently, and which we're going to maintain are beef, at least for the time being.

Rest assured, however, that all KÖTTBULLAR products purchased or consumed in the last several months have contained the correct amounts of both particle-board and those twisty wooden peg-things that give them the unique taste Ikea customers know and love!

In the interest of keeping our customers informed and up-to-date, we'd like to disclose certain other pieces of information about our food preparation process and/or recipes that may not have been entirely clear in the past:

* Our SYLT LINGON jam is indeed 100 percent all-natural, as advertised, insofar as horse blood, used as a food-coloring and thickening agent, is a naturally-occurring edible product.

* In Chinese, the words for "crayfish" and "extremely large, nuclear-exposed cockroach" are actually the same, which may be relevant to consumers of our KRAFTÖR Chinese crayfish in brine.

* For reasons we have yet to determine, our DRYCK NYPON rosehip drink is extremely flammable, particularly when ingested.

* The SILL GRÄDDFIL marinated herring in sour cream was only ever supposed to be a practical joke. It all started when Erik in accounting started passing around the GLÖGG at last year's team-building retreat, and long-story-short, we really never thought it would go this far.

Again, please let us say that we deeply regret these oversights; we, like you, had hoped to never have to think very hard about how we've been able to keep our meatball price-per-gross so absurdly low.

We hope you'll give Ikea another chance. In that interest, please bring this letter in to your nearest Ikea location for a free sample of our newest product line: the HÜF series of glues and gelatins!