Horsemeat Scandal Spreads to Ikea Swedish Meatballs

The Swedish furniture giant is the latest company to be dragged into the European horsemeat scandal that began early this year

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Jessica Gow / AP

Advertising billboards for Swedish meatballs are taken down at the Ikea store in Stockholm on Feb. 25, 2012, after the furniture giant was drawn into Europe's widening food-label scandal

Czech authorities have discovered horsemeat in Swedish meatballs produced for the furniture giant Ikea and labeled as beef and pork, reports the Huffington PostIt’s the latest — and so far, most unlikely — company to be dragged into the European horsemeat scandal that began early this year.

The Czech State Veterinary Administration has found horsemeat in 1-kg packs of the Kottbullar frozen meatballs produced in Sweden. Ikea confirmed on its Facebook page that it would halt sale of meatballs in Sweden and later withdrew the meat from 14 countries across Europe. The company has said the batch tested had also been exported to Slovakia, Hungary, France, the U.K., Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and the Republic of Ireland, notes the BBCFurther tests found that 760 kg of meatballs contained horsemeat.

(MORE: Horses for Courses: Despite Europe’s Scandal, Horsemeat Is Often on World’s Menu)

However, the Swedish company says other regions are not at risk and does not plan to halt shipments of its meat to the U.S. “Our global recommendation is to not recall or stop selling meatballs,” spokesperson Ylva Magnusson told the Huffington PostShe said there was no reason to halt its sales in America and that Ikea tests carried out two weeks ago on a range of frozen foods found no traces of horsemeat. Magnusson has revealed that all meatballs supplied to Ikea come from Gunnar Dafgard AB — a family-run frozen-food company in Sweden that has yet to comment.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the French Agriculture Ministry announced on Saturday that horsemeat containing the potentially harmful drug phenylbutazone — an anti-inflammatory treatment used on horses that can cause serious blood disorders — had entered the French food chain. In response to the scandal, French President François Hollande has promised to push for mandatory labeling of meat in ready-made meals, writes thejournal.ie.

(MORE: As the Horsemeat Hysteria Spreads, E.U. Opens a Mad-Cow Can of Worms)

Sweden is one of a growing list of European countries to have been affected by the horsemeat scandal ever since horsemeat was found in Irish beef burgers in January. The following 17 countries have been hit so far:

Republic of Ireland

U.K.

France

Sweden

Germany

Switzerland

The Netherlands

Norway

Denmark

Austria

Bulgaria

Finland

Belgium

Spain

Italy

Portugal

Poland

113 comments
cgrgry
cgrgry

@Chicagojewlz only in Europe they were Servings HorseMeat MEATBALLS customers Service Told Me Not to Worry I Didnt Eat Mr.Ed

ruhrose
ruhrose

@johnuhle i don't even eat meat in general but it says that there isn't horse meat in the us meatballs hahaha

SRoyer7
SRoyer7

Really though, Horse meat is a viable meat option! What is the difference between eating beef and eating horse? With so many people around the world going to bed hungry, shouldn't we consider this protein source?

I am by no means saying that it was right to let people believe it was all beef, and have horse meat in it. This is lying and false advertisement! 

Also, many people who have horses and can no longer take care of them (due to age, finances, etc) have nowhere to take horses. So what can we do with them?

SRoyer7
SRoyer7

So I want to know why eating Horse meat is such a big deal? Many people (myself included) eat beef, pork, and chicken, so what is so different about horse meat? Is it because horses are seen as majestic and beautiful creatures? I think that horses are truly amazing animals, but then so are chickens and pigs. What is wrong with eating a viable source of protein?

Another question I have is the source of this public outcry, what is the real issue here... Is it that there is horse meat in the meatballs, or is it that people thought it was beef, and it turned out it had horse meat in it? What is the biggest social issue here?

ILoveLisa
ILoveLisa

Horse is delicious, in that case. “@TIME: Horsemeat scandal claims another victim: Ikea meatballs | http://t.co/bnSWNPZ17R (via @TIMEWorld)”

bulldozeradams
bulldozeradams

@TahneeAdams @time @timeworld there was a horsa in a da meatballs

felsull
felsull

Is this a PR campaign? 3 weeks of this is odd: @TIME: Horsemeat scandal claims another victim: Ikea meatballs | http://t.co/4yzmk15hxe

mkayMK
mkayMK

Haha suckas. Glad I don't eat that. RT: “@TIME: Horsemeat scandal claims another victim: Ikea meatballs | http://t.co/UTzSOcCMIt

sugar_baroness
sugar_baroness

@cdceniza WTH?! On the other hand, I wonder what horse meat taste like :P

iREFUGEEE
iREFUGEEE

@TIME @TIMEWorld it just baffling the whole world making fuzz over which #meat sd b on the plate or not at the expense of powerless #animals

MetroMagazineTT
MetroMagazineTT

@TIME @TIMEWorld y'all need to come to Trinidad, horsemeat is a delicacy in these parts.

RaffyInfra
RaffyInfra

@TIME surprise surprise? #surprise

sensrbtch
sensrbtch

SCANDEL?? who is fussin about this? we in america hav been eatin horse since the civil war!! wer do u peoples think dead horses go? or downers,wild,juss 2 manies. they go to the butcher and we eat them!! we feed horse to dogs,cats,tigers,lions,alls kinda meat eaters, so we can go to-the zoo and lookat them. and in syuum cases we can jump into the pen with the big cats. then the handlers dont ned to feed the cats that night??

KimParkAan
KimParkAan

@syafiqkarnain smlm kt brita ikea malaysia ckp dia xtlibat sbb dorg amik local pnya..who knows...

TEK1228
TEK1228

@ekelly89 OMG people rave about their meatballs

hfieldhoya
hfieldhoya

@ekelly89 Swedish meatballs! Always!

adanzis
adanzis

@ekelly89 are you serious? they've been famous for them for years

Chicagojewlz
Chicagojewlz

@cgrgry lol..good thing! I always wondered what was the special ingredient in those meatballs.

IanaBudiman
IanaBudiman

@SRoyer7 In the article there was a mention of horse meat containing a drug called phenylbutazone (used to treat the horses but harmful if digested by a human). I think this is the main reason why they pulled the meat off the market.

Also, horses are considered companions for humans and therefore treated as pets. It's socially taboo to eat their meat. Would you eat your cat or dog if it's getting old or you can no longer take care of it any more? It's just wrong, man. 

SRoyer7
SRoyer7

@Susie Saffelle Crabill So I have a question, would you eat meatballs if you knew they were 100% beef?

What is the difference between horse and pork, or chicken, or beef? I really want to know what other people think, because I think the biggest problem here was the misinformation, not the meat content itself.


emilyeats
emilyeats

@felsull I wonder the same - what about the mislabeled fish? That story seems to have gone away quickly by comparison.

cdceniza
cdceniza

@felipsflops Ew ka dyan. Akala mo lang beef kinakain mo minsan. ;) If Europeans were duped…Pinas pa kaya. ;) @sugar_baroness

cdceniza
cdceniza

@sugar_baroness I remember they were selling it somewhere in Laguna at some point.

cdceniza
cdceniza

@sugar_baroness Yeah, I have more issues with mistruth than the meat itself. We've probably all had it, we just didn't know!

syafiqkarnain
syafiqkarnain

@KimParkAan maybe ni secret recipe utk meatball yg sedap. haha.

sensrbtch
sensrbtch

@TEK1228 is long beach island there any more?

ekelly89
ekelly89

@adanzis Super serious. I guess I haven't been to Ikea like, ever.

SEsrig143
SEsrig143

@CareyedAway4 can't be that bad...we're still alive, right?

felsull
felsull

@emilyeats It just seems suspect. Why the international attention now? Don't we assume (quality-wise) that you get what you pay for?

sugar_baroness
sugar_baroness

@cdceniza but we're hungry so hindi na siguro papansinin yan dito. Haha. @felipsflops

SRoyer7
SRoyer7

@cdceniza I agree, I think that the REAL issue here is not whether or not we can eat horse (why is that different from beef) but rather, that they were lying about what was in the meat!


adanzis
adanzis

@ekelly89 i don't think i have been since i first moved to Hoboken

SRoyer7
SRoyer7

@emilyeats 

Do you guys think that this has erupted so much more than other food scandals because its with horses? I personally see no problem, meat is meat, but I think that people hear "horse," and think cuddly, beautiful majestic creature. 

Also, why aren't people more mad that they were lying vs. that it was horse meat!

emilyeats
emilyeats

@felsull Yes, given it's been long known how these products are produced. Maybe it's b/c this is international & effects specific companies?

felipsflops
felipsflops

@sugar_baroness Haha. Indeed. Baka kunin pa dito yung mga meatballs. @cdceniza