Czech Republic officials say traces of horse meat were discovered in frozen packages of meatballs sent to their country for sale at furniture giant Ikea. NBCNews.com’s Dara Brown reports.

By Juergen Baetz and Karel Janicek, The Associated Press

Traces of horse have been found in meatballs labeled as beef and pork for Swedish global furniture giant Ikea, according to authorities in the Czech Republic.

The horse meat was found in one-kilogram packs of frozen meat balls made in Sweden and shipped to the Czech Republic for sale in Ikea stores there, the Czech State Veterinary Administration said.

It is the latest discovery in a deepening scandal over the discovery of horse meat in ready meals sold as beef in supermarkets in Ireland, the UK and other European countries.

Markus Schreiber / AP, file

Ikea furniture stores also sell typical Swedish food.

A total of 1,675 pounds of the meatballs were stopped from reaching the shelves.

Ikea’s furniture stores feature restaurants and also sell food typical of the company’s home country, including the so-called Kottbullar meat balls.

It was not immediately clear whether Ikea exported the same product to other countries. Calls seeking comment from Ikea in Sweden were not immediately returned Monday.

The Czech authority also found horse meat in beef burgers imported from Poland during random tests of food products.

Authorities across Europe have started doing random DNA checks after traces of horse meat turned up in frozen supermarket meals such as burgers and lasagna beginning last month.

 

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