Dubai: Ikea UAE said it is sending a batch of meat products for tests in Abu Dhabi as an “extra-precautionary” step to further confirm there is no horsemeat in beef meatballs being served to customers visiting its stores in the UAE.

The move follows Ikea’s recent recall of meatballs from sale in 14 European countries after checks in the Czech Republic revealed horsemeat traces in a batch produced in Sweden.

An Ikea official in the furniture giant’s home country of Sweden earlier told Gulf News that the developments in Europe had no bearing on the UAE.

In a statement on Thursday, Ikea UAE added: “The trust of our customers is of utmost importance to us, which is why last week we have taken extra-precautionary measures by sending a batch for DNA laboratory testing in Abu Dhabi. We expect test results next week to confirm that there are no indications of any ingredients than the ones stipulated in our recipes and specifications.”

Meatballs served at Ikea’s UAE stores are halal certified and imported from Saudi Arabia, not Europe, the statement said. The company claimed the meatballs are produced under licence by “a highly reputable company” in Saudi Arabia called Premier Foods Industries.

The meat used in the Saudi Arabian production is sourced from “accredited halal suppliers” in Australia — not from the same source as the packaged meatballs from the Swedish.

Ikea UAE said it takes “utmost care to ensure that the meatballs are prepared in a halal manner and therefore does not follow the Swedish recipe. The situation in Europe does not affect meatballs sold at Ikea UAE. Ikea is committed to serving and selling high-quality food that is safe, healthy and produced with care for the environment and the people who produce it. 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.”

Meatballs were being served on Tuesday at the Dubai Ikea store where employees assured one customer that the meat was prepared according to halal standards, with halal frozen cooked meatballs from Saudi Arabia also sold.

A growing number of companies have been affected by the horsemeat scandal in Europe, with similar developments reported in South Africa more recently.