Ikea looks to sell horse- tainted meatballs

Furniture giant Ikea said Tuesday it was looking at selling or giving away meatballs in its home country of Sweden that were recalled after tests showed they contained traces of horse DNA.

Ikea looks to sell horse- tainted meatballs

“We are looking at ways of using the meatballs as food, since they are completely safe to eat. But we are still in talks with the authorities over this,” spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson said.

“If we are unsuccessful our other option is to use them as biogas,” she added.

The main challenge was to find a way to comply with Swedish authorities’ requirement that all food be labelled with “exact information” on meat content, Magnusson said.

“We’re discussing how to sell or give away the meatballs as food, even though the percentage (of different meats) may vary,” she said.

Horsemeat had only been found in a small number of the production batches that were pulled from shelves in February, she noted.

“There is no health risk associated with eating these meatballs.”

The meatballs would only be sold or given away in Sweden, where most of them have been stored after Czech authorities in February said they contained horsemeat.

Ikea stores in other countries would have to follow local rules and regulations, Magnusson said.

The Swedish company pulled its trademark frozen meatballs off the shelves and from its restaurants in 25 countries in Europe and Asia after traces of horse DNA were found.

It suffered further embarrassment this month when its frozen elk lasagne was shown to contain traces of pork.

AFP/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.