Now on sale at Ikea: horse-free meatballs

Swedish meatballs are once again being sold at Ikea, with the Swedish furniture giant promising customers its version of the classic Swedish dish is now free of horsemeat.

Now on sale at Ikea: horse-free meatballs

“From now on we are doing DNA-tests on all meat at three different levels. At delivery, under production, and when the meatballs are finished. The number of suppliers has shrunk from 15 to seven,” Ikea Foods CEO Edward Mohr told the TT news agency on Thursday.

Mohr added that the new meat in Ikea’s Swedish meatballs currently comes only from Germany, but that Sweden and Ireland will soon serve as supplying countries as well.

The news comes three weeks after Ikea banned the sale of meatballs in stores across Europe after tests in the Czech Republic found traces of horsemeat in the Swedish retailer’s meatballs.

The findings were later confirmed by tests carried out in Sweden by Ikea meatball supplier Gunnar Dafgård AB.

Mohr refused to divulge the amount of horse-tainted meatballs Ikea still had in stock, saying only it was “quite a lot”.

SEE ALSO: Faecal bacteria found in Ikea chocolate cakes

When asked what Ikea planned to do with the horse meatballs, he explained the company is looking into whether it can follow in the footsteps of Swedish foodmaker Axfood, which announced earlier this week it was donating five tonnes of horsemeat-tainted frozen lasagne to help feed Stockholm’s homeless.

“We need to see how it would work from a legal and regulatory perspective,” Mohr told TT.

He added he would “absolutely” eat Ikea Swedish meatballs with or without horsemeat.

“I love them. It’s important to remember that there wasn’t anything wrong with the actual product, but rather that they were improperly labelled,” said Mohr.

SEE ALSO: ‘You can’t butcher a family member’

Mohr admitted Ikea “hadn’t lived up to customers’ expectations” by selling meatballs containing horsemeat.

It remains unclear what Ikea founder Ingvar Kamprad thinks about the episode.

“To be honest, I don’t know. I haven’t spoken with him,” Mohr said.

TT/The Local/dl

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Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price

In the run-up to what would in normal times be the festive season sales rush, Ikea has vowed to buy back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

Ikea will buy back your used furniture at up to half the price
Got any pieces of Ikea furniture at home? You may be able to get rid of it and get money back. Photo: Fredrik Sandberg/TT

Ikea, the world's largest furniture chain, said Tuesday it would begin buying back used furniture from customers to resell – and pay up to 50 percent of the original price.

The “Buy Back Friday” scheme, timed to coincide with the “Black Friday” pre-Christmas retail frenzy, will run from November 24th and until December 3rd in 27 countries.

“Rather than buy things you don't need this Black Friday, we want to help customers give their furniture a second life instead of making an impulse buy,” said Stefan Vanoverbeke, deputy retail operations manager at Ingka Group, Ikea's parent company.

To address concerns its affordable, flat-pack products encourage overconsumption and waste, the Swedish company had previously said it would start renting and recycling furniture as part of an eco-drive.

Under its buyback scheme, the group said that “anything that can't be resold will be recycled or donated to community projects to help those most affected by the Covid-19 pandemic”.

“Some countries like Australia and Canada for example are currently testing different buyback services, but BuyBack Friday will be the first time that 27 countries do this together,” the statement added.

The Swedish giant employs over 217,000 people and has more than 50 outlets. Its annual turnover is around 40 billion euros ($46 billion).

The group did not specify how it would determine the price paid for second-hand furniture and customers will receive a voucher, not cash, for their products.  

As part of efforts to reduce waste, Ikea has already begun repairing and re-packaging products in every store that have been damaged in transit, as well as allowing customers to return products – including furniture – for resale or donation to charities.