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Ikea withdraws meatballs after horse-meat find

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LONDON — Ikea Group, the world’s biggest furniture retailer, became the latest company to be drawn into Europe’s horse-meat scandal after it stopped serving and selling Swedish meatballs across most of Europe.

The company widened an earlier stop on total meatball sales which was limited to France and Sweden. Now “the sales stop concerns meatballs manufactured by one supplier in Sweden who supplies meatballs to all European countries,” except Norway, Russia and Switzerland, as they “have alternative suppliers,” Ikea said in a statement.

The decision followed the discovery by authorities in the Czech Republic of traces of horse meat in the product.

The horse-meat scandal that started in Ireland in mid- January has spread across Europe as retailers withdraw products such as frozen beef burgers, lasagnas and meatballs from the shelves.