The Swedish furniture giant embroiled in Europe’s widening meat scandal has issued a statement saying the meatballs sold at its U.S. and Canada stores are free from horse meat.
“Based on the results of our mapping, we can confirm that the contents of the meatballs follow the IKEA recipe and contain only beef and pork from animals raised in the U.S. and Canada,” IKEA North America spokeswoman Mona Astra Liss said in a statement obtained by The Associated Press.
IKEA’s announcement came shortly after Czech Republic authorities said they detected horse DNA from the two batches of IKEA meatballs they tested. As a result, a total of 760 kilograms of meatballs were stopped from reaching the shelves.
Spokesman Ola Larsson said IKEA was conducting its own DNA tests to validate the Czech results. The company wouldn’t release further comments until the results of their own tests are available. However, Czech authorities say they can’t disclose the quantity of horse meat found in the IKEA meatballs, adding that the testing method they use “detects just the quality … the presence or non-presence of horse DNA.”
Meanwhile, officials from the U.S. Department of Agriculture told NBC News that it’s highly unlikely that beef or pork adulterated with horse meat will make it into the nation’s food supply given the strict labeling and inspection requirements they implement. But they also acknowledge that testing for specific species in shipments of meat is conducted only when there’s reason to suspect a problem.