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Ikea has been serving horse meat to its customers, likely so starved from getting lost in their maze of moderately-priced furniture, that they were willing to consume a meal from the store. The company apparently found that horse meat was being used in more than a dozen eateries inside its European locations.

The move came after authorities confirmed that the animal substance was being used in the store’s restaurant, was neither pork nor beef, as advertised.

From the New York Times:

The retailer said it had removed some products from its stores in Sweden after the authorities in the Czech Republic detected horse meat in Ikea meatballs. The company said it had made the decision even though its own tests two weeks ago had not detected horse DNA.

Ikea also announced that it was stopping sales “of the concerned batch” of meatballs in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland.

To make sure that this doesn’t happen again, Ikea has vowed to continue to run tests on the products, most of which are supplied by  Swedish company, Familjen Dafgård.  “We do not tolerate any other ingredients than the ones stipulated in our recipes or specifications, secured through set standards, certifications and product analysis by accredited laboratories,” the company said in a statement.

With the responses on social media ranging from outrage, to disgust, to pure comedy, Ikea’s spokesperson, Ylva Magnusson, assured that the company’s first priority is maintaining customer satisfaction. “We hope that by taking decisive action, we can show our customers that we take their concerns seriously,” Magnusson said. “It’s important that our customers feel safe, and if they have concerns they should contact us.”This is about what it says on the label being correct.”

As one of the biggest retailers in the world, Ikea boasted rising profits for the 2012 fiscal year. The company brought in roughly $31.9 billion in revenue, over  $1 billion of which was from food sales.

Photo: CBS Canada