Meatballs have become a popular dish for IKEA, which sells them hot from the in-store cafeterias and packaged off the shelf. . IKEA was told of the horsemeat discovery by authorities in the Czech Republic and refilled its UK shelves with new stock, although the country’s state veterinary administration only announced that it had found evidence of horse during DNA tests on 1kg packs labelled as beef and pork meatballs from IKEA in Brno. The consignment had not been distributed to consumers. But IKEA Malaysia’s range of meatballs and sausages sold in-store are halal certified and produced locally in Malaysia.
The Swedish home furniture chain-store issued a statement confirming that its meatballs sold here, a popular specialty with customers, contain only beef sourced from Australia, while the sausages are made from chicken sourced locally.
The statement was issued after IKEA revealed plans to withdraw its sausage and meatball products from stores in Europe, including France, Britain, Spain, Ireland and Portugal. The decision was made after tests conducted by them showed that the meatballs contained “a few indications of horsemeat”.
As a precaution, the sausages were also removed as they were produced by the same supplier. In the statement, IKEA Malaysia said “none of our ingredients are produced by the affected Swedish supplier”. It also stated that none of the range of sausages recalled in several foreign markets are available locally, highlighting that any ingredients not stipulated in recipes or specifications are not tolerated.
Each meat product is “secured through set standards, certifications and product analysis by accredited laboratories”, it added. However, the company has taken the precautionary measure of halting the sale of its meatballs at the food market and restaurant temporarily, pending the results of a DNA test expected sometime.
Sausages will continue to be sold, with a declaration from IKEA Malaysia’s local supplier that the chicken meat contained are locally produced and safe for consumption. The horsemeat scandal is an ongoing issue in Europe, after beef meat products sold across supermarkets and stores have been found to contain horsemeat.