What began as a seemingly isolated discovery of equine DNA in meat marketed as beef in Ireland has erupted into a scandal spanning 14 European countries.
The issue first cropped up last month and now encompasses food safety agencies from Ireland, the Netherlands, UK and others.
The latest food found to include the meat is meatballs sold in IKEA stores in Europe. The company has also halted sales of its meatballs in Thailand, Hong Kong and Dominican Republic, Bloomberg reports. It becomes the second multi-national food company to issue a massive recall of certain prepared meat products – Swiss company Nestle recalled beef lasagna and pasta products last week.
Initial industry test results returned
The UK's Food Standards Agency, which announced in mid-February it would launch a significant official probe into the scandal, reports that more than 514 products will be sampled in a separate industry test, including ready meals, minced beef, beef sausage and burgers. The tests will also check for pork DNA.
Initial results of food industry tests, released Feb. 22, found that 99% of tests contained no horse DNA at or above the level of 1%, and no tests have found the veterinary drug phenylbutazone (bute).