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Ikea finds horse meat in Russian hotdogs

By Laura Smith-Spark and Per Nyberg, CNN
updated 11:29 AM EST, Thu March 7, 2013
(Illustration photo) A man looks through a window of an Ikea store.
(Illustration photo) A man looks through a window of an Ikea store.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Ikea says horse meat has been found in hotdogs produced for sale in Russia
  • The company says testing has shown the vast majority of its products are not affected
  • The horse meat scandal has extended across Europe in recent weeks

(CNN) -- It's another case of horse meat being found in products that are not supposed to contain it.

Furniture giant Ikea said Thursday it pulled hotdogs from its stores in Russia after tests revealed they contained rogue horse meat.

Dozens of processed meat products have been pulled by European suppliers, retailers and food outlets in the past several weeks after the discovery of unauthorized horse meat in them.

Opinion: Scandal shines spotlight on murky horse trade

Ikea said in a statement Thursday it had undertaken wide-scale testing of its meat products from different suppliers in all its markets.

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"The vast majority of these tests show no indication of horse meat. However, there are also a few tests that do. In those cases we remove the product from sales," the company said.

"IKEA Group is committed to serving and selling high quality food that is safe, healthy and produced with care for the environment."

The test result from Russia concerns locally produced hotdogs and only affects the Russian market, Ikea said.

The alert over the hotdogs has added to what has been a difficult couple of weeks for Ikea.

What's behind the horsemeat contamination scandal?

Ten days ago, the company suspended sales of its Swedish meatballs after testing in the Czech Republic revealed traces of horse DNA.

Testing since has revealed the presence of horse meat in a few samples of Ikea meatballs from a supplier in Sweden, the firm said Thursday.

Ikea also said Tuesday it was withdrawing its almond cake with chocolate and butterscotch from sale in 23 countries after traces of coliform bacteria -- organisms found in the environment and in the feces of warm-blooded animals and humans -- were found in two batches.

The horse meat scandal has extended across Europe, with questions raised over slaughterhouses and food suppliers in a number of countries.

The UK Food Standards Agency released the results Friday of the latest round of testing ordered on products labeled beef across the UK food industry.

Horse: Coming soon to a meat case near you?

So far, more than 99% of tests continue to show no horse DNA at or above the level of 1%, it said.

Horse meat is not harmful in itself but authorities are concerned by its unauthorized presence in case it is tainted with a veterinary drug used to treat horses. Phenylbutazone, also known as bute, is not allowed to enter the food chain because it can pose a risk to humans.

The European Union said last month it intends to begin testing meat across all 27 member states.

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