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Marler Blog Providing Commentary on Food Poisoning Outbreaks & Litigation

IKEA caught up on the meatballs (a.k.a. horse balls) scandal

According to the Wall Street Journal, IKEA, the Swedish furniture giant, was drawn into Europe’s growing horse meat scandal after food inspectors in the Czech Republic found traces of horse meat in a batch of IKEA’s signature food item – Swedish meatballs.  While the scandal has been raging in Europe for weeks, many of the tainted products were relatively obscure. Not so for the IKEA meatball—an estimated 150 million of which are consumed around the world.

Looking for local flavor, I spoke to the Seattle Times yesterday:

Bill Marler, managing partner of Marler Clark, a Seattle law firm that specializes in foodborne-illnesses cases, said had he been asked two months ago (before horse meat was found in EU products from burgers to lasagna) whether IKEA could be sure of what is in their meatballs in the United States, “I would have said of course their system is airtight.”  But, he added, “Given that there appears to be little if any genetic testing being done on the meat supply in the U.S., I think everything’s questionable now.”

“It is hard to doubt the sincerity of IKEA in the U.S. and I’m sure they’re confident their systems work.  But, I’m assuming they were confident of the system in Europe, too,” Marler added.