Published — Thursday 28 February 2013
Last update 28 February 2013 12:01 am
STOCKHOLM, Sweden/LISBON, Portugal: The producer of Ikea meatballs withdrawn from shelves in 25 countries has found horsemeat in its products, Sweden's national food agency SLA said yesterday.
The agency was informed by Swedish company Dafgaard that its own tests had confirmed the presence of equine DNA, a spokeswoman for the agency said.
Dafgaard was unavailable for comment.
The Swedish furniture giant said Tuesday it had pulled one-kg (2.2-pound) bags of frozen meatballs off its shelves in 25 countries.
They were Poland, Austria, Hungary, the Dominican Republic, Britain, Portugal, Finland, Germany, Italy, Denmark, the Netherlands, Belgium, Romania, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Sweden, Thailand, Spain, Bulgaria, Greece, Hong Kong, France, Cyprus, Ireland and Malaysia.
Dafgaard announced on Tuesday that it had found no horsemeat in 320 of its products it tested, but said it had not yet received results from tests on the meat in which Czech food safety authorities found equine DNA.
It was unclear whether the positive results announced yesterday came from the same batch of meat tested in the Czech Republic.
Ikea was also expecting its own test results on the meatballs to be completed yesterday.
Swedish news agency TT reported the level of horsemeat found was between one and 10 percent, which is higher than the level usually considered to be the result of contamination in a slaughterhouse.
Ikea was the latest group to become caught up in a Europe-wide scandal over horsemeat in food products that erupted in January when horse DNA was detected in beefburgers in Britain and Ireland.
Portugal seizes 87 tons of beef with horsemeat
Portuguese authorities say they have seized 79 metric tons (87 US tons) of beef products containing traces of horsemeat in recent days and opened criminal proceedings against five local companies.