The horsemeat scandal in Europe continue to widen, with Swedish furniture giant Ikea the latest company to be ensnared. Ikea announced yesterday that it has been forced to withdraw meatballs from stores across the continent after authorities in the Czech Republic detected horse DNA in tests of 2.2 lb packs of frozen meatballs labeled beef and pork.
The Czech State Veterinary Administration said it had tested two batches of Ikea meatballs, but only one was tainted, although it did not say by how much. According to an AP report, meatballs from the same batch were sent to 12 other European countries from a Swedish supplier.
None of the Ikea outlets here in the United States were affected. At the same time, the USDA has issued a statement assuring Americans that they have little to fear about altered food sources, despite recent recalls involving horsemeat hidden in beef products, including nestle ravioli chili con carne.
“No domestic suppliers currently slaughter horses, and the agency has strict standards for labeling and inspection of imported meat,” they stated.
At the same time, the FDA privately acknowledged that species testing for meat imported is done only when there is a reason to question the shipment. In fact, Technologies Inc. of Gainesville, Fl which supplies the only validated tests for horsemeat in food for human consumption has been hit with nearly 1,000 requests for its $500 (including from major US meat producers) in just the last month.