UK Markets close in 8 hrs 14 mins

Ikea Meatballs Containing Horse On Sale In UK

(c) Sky News 2013

A batch of meatballs has been taken off the menu at Ikea's UK stores after traces of horsemeat were discovered.

The Czech Republic's state veterinary administration - which made the discovery - said the 1kg packs of frozen meatballs were labelled as beef and pork.

Ikea said it had taken the result "seriously", and was removing the meatballs from sale in countries across Europe.

The checks were carried out in response to a European-wide scandal that erupted last month when tests carried out in Ireland (OTC BB: IRLD - news) revealed some beef products also contained horsemeat.

Traces of horsemeat were found in meals sold by several British retailers.

An Ikea spokesman said: "Ikea takes the test result from the Czech Republic authorities showing indications of traces of horse meat seriously.

"The concerned production batch of meatballs has been withdrawn from the Swedish Food Market in the Ikea stores.

"Already two weeks ago, Ikea Group initiated DNA analyses of all meat products in the range.

"12 tested samples of different batches of meatballs showed no traces of horsemeat."

The European Union's agriculture ministers gathered in Brussels Monday to discuss the widening scandal's fallout, with some member states pressing for tougher rules to regain consumer confidence.

The 27-nation bloc must agree on binding origin disclosures for food product ingredients, starting with a better labelling of meat products, German agriculture minister Ilse Aigner said.

"Consumers have every right to the greatest-possible transparency," she said the consignment of meatballs that was tested had not been distributed to consumers, the statement said.