IKEA Investigates Horse-Meat Meatballs, Files Report Against Supplier

This picture taken on February 25, 2013 shows meatballs at IKEA department store in Brno. Ikea pulls meatballs from 14 Europe
This picture taken on February 25, 2013 shows meatballs at IKEA department store in Brno. Ikea pulls meatballs from 14 European countries after horsemeat was found in the product by Czech authorities. AFP PHOTO/ RADEK MICA (Photo credit should read RADEK MICA/AFP/Getty Images)

IKEA filed a police report Monday against a Swedish supplier that allegedly bought tainted meat from two Polish slaughterhouses, roughly a week after Czech authorities announced they had found traces of horse meat in IKEA Swedish meatballs.

IKEA's police report came the same day as an announcement by Familjen Dafgard, which produces most of IKEA's frozen meatballs in Europe. Dafgard said it had traced horse-meat-tainted product to the Swedish-based supplier, which has ties to slaughterhouses in Poland, according to The Local, an English-language Swedish news site. The supplier provides five to 10 percent of the beef used by Dafgard.

In a statement, IKEA stressed its dedication to resolving the matter and said that tests point to the single supplier in Sweden:

We take this issue very seriously and apologise for the current situation. Horse meat from authorised slaughter is in itself not dangerous. However, we do not tolerate any other ingredients than the ones stipulated in our recipes or specifications. It is important to us that customers can trust the products that we sell are high quality, safe and healthy.

Agence France-Presse writes that Ola Larsson, a Dafgard spokesman, said the company "[doesn't] know where in the chain the crime has been committed." The company has since handed over evidence to authorities and is working them to prevent future incidents.

Contaminated meatballs may have been sent to IKEA locations in Slovakia, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland.

IKEA has since pulled from stores three other Dafgard-produced products, in addition to the meatballs: Wiener sausages in France, Spain, Britain, Ireland and Portugal, and stuffed cabbages and veal burgers in Sweden.

These events are the latest developments in an ongoing horse meat scandal in Europe, which has touched several high-profile restaurant and grocery chains. Burger King, Taco Bell, Tesco supermarkets and others have all found various amounts of horse meat in beef products.



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