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Ikea beefs up meat ban over horsemeat fears

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Ikea beefs up meat ban over horsemeat fears
14:48 CET+01:00
Horsemeat contamination fears have prompted Swedish furniture giant Ikea to halt the sale of additional meat products after new tests by a Sweden-based meatball supplier confirmed horsemeat content.

"In consultation with the Swedish supplier, Ikea has decided to expand its ban on sales to include other mincemeat products from the supplier," Ikea said in a statement on Wednesday.

In Sweden, Ikea has ordered stores to stop selling Wallenbergare veal patties as well as cabbage and beef gratin (kålpudding).

In addition, Ikea stores in France, Spain, the UK, Ireland, and Portugal have been ordered to stop selling Vienna sausages.

However, the sausages will remain on sale in Sweden, as they come from a different supplier.

The new bans come in addition to a Europe-wide ban on meatballs initiated on Monday, covering all countries except Norway, Russia, and Switzerland. In Poland, the ban only affects products in the Swedish food market section of Ikea stores.

"We are taking the situation very seriously; it's incredibly important for us that our customers can trust what's written on the label," Ann Holster, head of Ikea Food Sweden, said in a statement.

"We're now working together with our suppliers to see how we can strengthen our procedures to avoid similar situations in the future."

Earlier on Wednesday, Gunnar Dafgård AB, the main Swedish meatball supplier for Ikea stores in Europe, reported that its own tests had revealed the presence of horsemeat in meatballs destined for Ikea.

The new tests revealed that some Dafgård's meatballs contained between 1 and 10 percent horsemeat.

Generally, any finding over 1 percent could indicate that horsemeat was mixed in with the mince, rather than simply being a case of production-line contamination.

Speaking with the TT news agency, the Ikea spokeswoman emphasized that very few of the hundreds of samples tested contained horsemeat.

"We talking about an interval of 1 to 10 percent," Holster said.

Ikea has continued to test its own meatballs for horsemeat, with results expected as soon as Wednesday.

TT/The Local/at

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