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IKEA Turkey denies horsemeat contamination risk

An official from IKEA Turkey told that their company buys all its food products from İstanbul-based Pınar Meat and does not import food products from abroad, insisting that the retailer is immune from a wider meat scandal unfolding in Europe. An official from IKEA Turkey's parent country, IKEA Global, couldn't be reached to confirm the claim. IKEA became the latest retailer involved in a Europe-wide horsemeat scandal on Monday, when traces of horsemeat were detected in frozen meatballs on IKEA shelves in the Czech Republic. The batch of meatballs was exported from Sweden to the Czech Republic and went on sale in other European countries, IKEA said in the hours after the news broke. The company announced that those countries include the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, France, the UK, Portugal, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland. It subsequently halted the sale of meat products in the abovementioned countries and Sweden.
The Turkish branch of the retailer may indeed be free from the horsemeat risk, given that its franchise owner, Mapa Mobilya, is technically independent from IKEA'S global branch and produces most of its products in its own factories. The furniture chain asserted its independence from IKEA Global last year when Mapa suppressed an IKEA Global-supported unionization effort in its stores. It nonetheless does feature a restaurant similar to those in other IKEA stores and features typical Swedish food like the meatballs pulled from shelves on Monday. As the scandal has widened, EU agricultural ministers met in Brussels on Monday to discuss stricter meat regulation in hopes of preventing another case in the future.

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