(Photo: Reuters/Petre Josek)
The giant Swedish furniture retailer IKEA has recently acknowledged that traces of horse meat have been detected in its signature frozen meatballs, batches of which have been dispersed to 13 countries throughout Europe.
The discovery was first made on Monday, when Czech State Veterinary Administration announced that it had found traces of horse DNA in packs of frozen meatballs being shipped to the country.
A total of 1,675 pounds of the meatballs were reportedly stopped from reaching the shelves in the Czech Republic, according to CBS News.
Additionally, IKEA spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson said meatballs from the same batch were shipped to Slovakia, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland, and these batches have since been removed from the shelves.
"Our own checks have shown no traces of horse meat. Now we must of course look into this further," the company said in a statement posted on its official website.
"We do not tolerate any other ingredients than the ones stipulated in our recipes or specifications, secured through set standards, certifications and product analysis by accredited laboratories," the company said in a statement issued to The New York Times.
The company has also announced that it does not plan to recall or stop selling its famed Swedish meatballs, although it will temporarily stop selling them in Sweden until the horse meat scandal is over.
"Our global recommendation is to not recall or stop selling meatballs," Magnusson said in a statement, as reported by The Associated Press.
Although all of the company's meatballs come from the same supplier, IKEA has assured consumers that batches of the tainted meatballs were not shipped to the U.S. or other European countries besides the ones named.
A horse meat scandal has recently been sweeping Europe after it was announced that traces of the meat had been detected in pizzas sold in Denmark, burgers sold at U.K. Burger Kings, Nestle pasta meals sold in Italy and Spain, and in meat pasta sauce sold by Wal-Mart's U.K. branch.