Ikea worries its sausages have horse meat, too

Advertising for Ikea meat balls at the parking area at an Ikea store in Malmo, Sweden, on Feb. 25, 2012.
AP Photo/Johannes Cleris

STOCKHOLM Swedish home furnishings giant Ikea says it is withdrawing wiener sausages in France, Britain, Spain, Ireland and Portugal after tests confirmed "a few indications of horse meat."

The move comes two days after the company withdrew Swedish meatballs from stores across Europe and a handful of countries in Asia and the Caribbean.

"Based on some hundred test results that we have received so far, there are a few indications of horse meat," Ikea spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson said Wednesday. "Together with the Swedish supplier in question we have decided to withdraw from sales also the wiener sausages ... from that supplier."

Horse meat has been found mixed into beef dishes sold across Europe, including in frozen supermarket meals. It has also been found in meals served at restaurants, schools and hospitals.

Meanwhile, Portuguese authorities say they have seized 87 tons of beef products containing traces of horse meat in recent days and opened criminal proceedings against five local companies.

Portugal's Food Safety Agency said late Tuesday it made the seizures at companies that process, package and distribute meat to large retail outlets.

The agency said in a statement on its website that it also took almost 19,000 pre-packed products from Portuguese stores after detecting horse meat in them. They included lasagnas, hamburgers and meatballs.