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IKEA says no horsemeat in meatballs

By Zhang Ye (Global Times)

08:07, February 27, 2013

(File Photo)

IKEA's signature Swedish meatballs sold in China are made only from beef and pork, and do not come from the batch which was tested in the Czech Republic and found to contain horsemeat, IKEA (China) Investment Co told the Global Times Tuesday.

The world's No.1 furniture retailer is also known for the cafeterias located in its furniture stores around the world.

The statement came after IKEA's meatballs in the Czech Republic were found to contain horsemeat by the local State Veterinary Administration Monday, causing a halt of meatball sales in 14 European countries and making IKEA the latest company involved in a horsemeat scandal spreading across Europe.

Horsemeat is not harmful to human health, but what makes people angry, especially in Europe, is companies' dishonesty in adding unlisted ingredients, Wang Xiaoyuan, an industry analyst from Beijing Orient Agribusiness Consultants, told the Global Times Tuesday.

All IKEA meatballs are produced by IKEA's Swedish supplier Familjen Dafgard, which is investigating the matter and hopes to release its findings soon, according to Reuters Monday.

However, IKEA (China) told the Global Times in an e-mail that the meatballs sold in China are supplied by a factory in Xiamen, East China's Fujian Province, and not imported from Sweden. It refused to reveal the specific name of its Chinese suppliers.

"We do not tolerate any ingredients other than the ones stipulated in our recipes and specifications," said the statement.

In 2012 the company sold up to 3 million tons of the meatballs in the Chinese market, Xu Lide, director of the public relations department of IKEA China, told the Global Times Tuesday.

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