Meatballs return to Ikea Bangna

The Bangkok Post has reported that Ikea’s meatballs, which has been under scrutiny after the products reportedly contained horsemeat, will be back on the menu at Ikea, Mega Bangna within three months.

This time, the Swedish furniture chain has confirmed that the meatballs will be horsemeat-free.

According to the newspaper, Ikea stores in Denmark, Sweden and Finland have already begun serving the newly produced meatballs again.

The company withdrew Swedish meatballs from its menu in February after horsemeat was found in some samples from the Bangkok store as well as locations throughout Europe.

Since the new production volumes are dependent on sourcing quality raw materials, delivery is limited to a few markets initially, the company said.

However, Ikea now faces a new embarrassment after reporting that it found pork in the meals it sells as “elk lasagne”.

The company withdrew 17,600 servings of lasagne from sale in Europe and began performing its own tests after a Belgian laboratory said the minced elk meat contained just over one percent pork.

Ikea, which runs popular restaurants and food markets inside its giant furniture stores, expects the new meatball supply chain to be in place to allow it to sell meatballs again at most locations within three months.

“We have simplified the supply chain by limiting the number of meat suppliers and have also improved controls at the concerned supplier by adding DNA analyses both on the raw meat material and on the final product,” said Lacia Sherlock, the store manager at Ikea Bangna.

“This is an extra measure to ensure that our meatballs will contain only ingredients listed in the product specification.”

Ikea filed a police report on March 4 against a Swedish supplier that allegedly bought tainted meat from two Polish slaughterhouses, roughly a week after Czech authorities announced they had found traces of horsemeat in Ikea Swedish meatballs.

The horsemeat scandal that emerged last year in Europe has touched several high-profile restaurant and grocery chains. Burger King, Taco Bell, Tesco supermarkets and others have all found various amounts of horsemeat in beef products.

In most cases, the tainted meat shipments had originated with Eastern European suppliers.

In the case of the elk lasagne, the company traced the problem to Dafgaard, the same Swedish company that makes the meatballs that were pulled after tests showed they contained horsemeat.

“They had been grinding a mix of pork and beef in the morning and elk meat in the afternoon,” company spokeswoman Josefin Thorell said.

“We’ve reviewed these routines together with Dafgaard so this is no longer being done. They now have separate facilities for different types of production.”

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