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Ikea withdraws meatballs in Europe, 21 nations hit

  • Advertising for Ikea meat balls at the parking area at an Ikea store in Malmo Sweden Monday Feb. 25, 2012. Furniture retailer Ikea says it has halted all sales of meat balls in Sweden after Czech authorities detected horse meat in frozen meatballs that were labeled as beef and pork. (AP Photo/Johannes Cleris) SWEDEN OUT

STOCKHOLM — Swedish furniture giant Ikea became entangled in Europe's widening meat scandal Monday, forced to withdraw meatballs from stores across Europe amid suspicions that they contained horse meat.

Stores in the U.S. and Canada were not affected, Ikea said.

The company reacted after authorities in the Czech Republic said they had detected horse DNA in tests of 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) packs of frozen meatballs that were labeled as beef and pork. The Czech State Veterinary Administration said it tested two batches of Ikea meatballs and only one of them contained horse meat. It did not say how much.

Meatballs from the same batch had been sent from a Swedish supplier to 12 other European countries — Slovakia, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland — and would be pulled off the shelves in all of them, Ikea said.

Later Monday, the company expanded the withdrawals to stores in 21 countries that were getting meatballs from the same Swedish supplier.


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