Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 20 August 2014

Ikea withdraws batch of meatballs

Ikea said only one batch of meatballs was affected by the horse meat discovery (AP)

Furniture giant Ikea has withdrawn a batch of its traditional meatballs from sale in its UK stores after horse meat was discovered by Czech authorities.

The Swedish company said meatballs would still be available to buy in its stores and only one batch was being withdrawn as a precaution until further tests on it could be done.

A spokesman said internal tests had shown no problems up to now.

He said in a statement: "Ikea takes the test result from the Czech Republic authorities showing indications of traces of horse meat seriously. The concerned production batch of meatballs has been withdrawn from the Swedish Food Market in the Ikea stores.

"Already two weeks ago, Ikea Group initiated DNA analyses of all meat products in the range. Twelve tested samples of different batches of meatballs showed no traces of horse meat. To validate the test results, we are now initiating further tests on the same production batch in which the Czech Republic authorities found indications of horse meat."

The firm said it had issued "a sales stop" of the concerned batch in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Cyprus, Ireland as well as the UK.

The meatballs were labelled as beef and pork and were in one-kilogram frozen packs sent to the Czech Republic for sale in Ikea stores there. The spokesman said the move did not affect the supply of meatballs to Ikea restaurants in the UK.

Meanwhile, it emerged the UK Government is being sued over the contamination of Halal meat in prisons.

Justice minister Jeremy Wright told MPs a "small number" of claims have been filed and would be "robustly defended where appropriate".

A number of Halal meat pies and pasties supplied to jails were found to contain traces of pork, which Muslims are forbidden from eating under Islamic law.

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