Czech inspectors find horsemeat in IKEA meatballs

Czech inspectors have found horsemeat in meatballs made in Sweden for IKEA Group, the world's biggest furniture retailer, the Czech food regulator said on Monday.

The checks were carried out in response to a European-wide scandal that erupted last month when tests carried out in Ireland revealed some beef products also contained horsemeat.

It has triggered recalls of ready meals and damaged confidence in Europe's vast and complex food industry.

The Czech State Veterinary Administration reported its findings to the EU's Rapid Alert System for Food and Feed, it said in a statement.

The inspectors took samples for DNA tests in IKEA's unit in the city of Brno from a product labeled as "beef and pork meatballs", the statement said.

The consignment of meatballs that was tested had not been distributed to consumers, the statement said.

A spokesman for the institute said he did not know whether the meatballs were distributed in other European countries.

IKEA said they were made by a single Swedish supplier.

The inspectors also found horsemeat in burgers from Poland labeled as "beef pre-fried burger" supplied to the food trader and distributor BidVest Czech Republic.

Czech inspectors had previously found undeclared horsemeat in one other product sold on the Czech market.

(Reporting by Jana Mlcochova; Editing by Kevin Liffey)