The ongoing debacle of Europe’s food-chain continues with news from the BBC that IKEA, the venerable do-it-yourself furniture (and food apparently) maker has pulled 1675lbs of Swedish Meatballs off shelves. Horse was found in “beef and pork” meatballs in the Czech Republic and then in 13 other nations including the UK, Holland, and Portugal. Since the first horsemeat was found last month, traces have been found in many places (table below) with UK’s FSA having 35 positive tests and Germany’s equivalent 67 positives. IKEA’s discovery, noted on their facebook page, adds further fuel to the complex food-chain fire but we can only wonder just how many extra pieces of horsemeat were included in the package (and what was missing).
As once British MEP noted, “Europe’s food retailers depend on a complex network of brokers, cold stores and meat-cutting plants around the continent from which to source the ingredients wherever they are cheapest. The evidence of the past few weeks shows that national food safety authorities have failed to identify a problem in the supply chain over a significant period of time.”