Ikea pulls frozen elk lasagne after traces of pork found

STOCKHOLM (AFP) - Swedish furniture giant Ikea said on Saturday that it had stopped selling its frozen elk lasagne after a batch was found to contain traces of pork.

The company withdrew 17,600 lasagnes from sale and began performing its own tests after a Belgian laboratory said the minced elk meat contained just over one percent pork.

"We were contacted by Belgian authorities on March 22 and we acted immediately," company spokesman Josefin Thorell said.

The contamination had taken place at Dafgaard, the same company that produces the Ikea meatballs that were pulled after tests showed they contained horsemeat.

"They had been grinding a mix of pork and beef in the morning and elk meat in the afternoon, Ms Thorell said.

"We've reviewed these routines together with Dafgaard so this is no longer being done. They now have separate facilities for different types of production."

The product, which contains around 12 per cent meat, had been sold only in European countries and was not available in any Muslim countries. Islamic law forbids the consumption of pork.

Ikea began reintroducing meatballs in its restaurants worldwide last month after horsemeat was found in the product in February.

The company said it was keeping the same supplier, Dafgaard, but added that the number of meat suppliers had been reduced to 7 from 15, without identifying the dropped meat suppliers by name nor country of origin.

In the aftermath of the scandal the group also announced it was introducing systematic DNA testing on all products using minced meat.

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