The Swedish company that manufactures meatballs for Ikea has insisted its meatballs are free from horse DNA, as the furniture chain today widened its meatball recall to 24 countries.

Dafgard – one of Sweden’s largest food companies and a supplier of meatballs to Ikea stores in most European countries – said it had carried out extensive, independent tests on its raw materials over the past three weeks, since the horsemeat scandal broke, and none had come back positive for any horse DNA.

“We have also received a response from our own tests, as well as external, of finished products and all of them show no traces of horsemeat, added Dafgard CEO Ulf Dafgard.

Testing would continue, and “we will report the result as soon as we receive them,” Dafgard said. “In case a sample contains horsemeat, the affected product will, of course, be blocked and removed from the market immediately.”

On Monday (25 February), officials in the Czech Republic said they had found horse DNA in a batch of meatballs made by Dafgard at an Ikea store in the Czech city of Brno. They did not disclose what quantities of horse DNA had been found.  

Dafgard said it had tried to reach the laboratory in the Czech Republic that tested the Ikea products to receive additional information about the results, but had not received a response so far.

According to Swedish media reports, Dafgard sources a lot of its meat from Germany, Ireland and Sweden.

In response to the Czech test results, Ikea has withdrawn meatballs from sale in all territorries supplied by Dafgard, including most European countries as well as overseas markets such as Thailand, Hong Kong and the Dominican Republic.