No, you can no longer eat these Swedish balls


While we’re talking about people from Sweden, IKEA, the flat pack furniture wizards have branched out into all sorts of other businesses as well.

Including food.

The Big Story reports

Swedish furniture giant Ikea became entangled in Europe’s widening meat scandal Monday, forced to withdraw meatballs from stores across Europe amid suspicions that they contained horse meat.  

The company reacted after authorities in the Czech Republic said they had detected horse DNA in tests of 1-kilogram (2.2-pound) packs of frozen meatballs that were labeled as beef and pork. The Czech State Veterinary Administration said it tested two batches of Ikea meatballs and only one of them contained horse meat. It did not say how much.

Meatballs from the same batch had been sent from a Swedish supplier to 12 other European countries — Slovakia, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Italy, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland — and would be pulled off the shelves in all of them, Ikea said.

Later Monday, the company expanded the withdrawals to stores in 21 European countries and in Hong Kong, Thailand and the Dominican Republic, all of which were getting meatballs from the same Swedish supplier

There is a difference between deliberately putting horse meat into a product, and having traces of horse meat contaminating what is essentially 99.99% what is says on the label.

The latter would happen if horse meat was processed with the same machinery.

I very much doubt that if your local supermarket makes pork mince, then washes the machine down, that the first lot of beef mince won’t have any traces of pork in it.

And if they don’t wash the machine down, then you’d have a few percent of pork in the beef mince that came through first.

And let’s not even talk about sausages, hot dogs and saveloys, shall we?

When 25% of the Tesco beef product was found to be horse meat, that’s a scandal.  But minuscule trace amounts?  I think it’s time to shut this panic down.


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  • far canal

    I don’t care what’s in them Swedish meatballs are the best.

  • Marc Williams

    It’s not the fraction of horse in the meatballs, it’s which part of the horse it came from that would worry me.

  • sandynobb

    Have Oscar’s legs been found in any products?

  • Lofty

    In another life I was fortunate enough to have a very nice young Swedish lass chew gently on my balls…does that count as close to this subject?