Swedish-style meatballs sold by Ikea in countries including Britain contained horsemeat but have since been withdrawn from sale, the company admits.

Swedish-style meatballs sold by Ikea in countries including Britain contained horsemeat but have since been withdrawn from sale, the company admits.

A spokesman for Ikea in the Czech republic said meatballs containing horsemeat had been on sale in countries including the Czech Republic, Britain, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium, but have since been taken off the shelves.

It came after Czech inspectors found horsemeat in meatballs made in Sweden for Ikea 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.

Sold as 'beef and pork meatballs'

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

The consignment of meatballs that was tested had not been distributed to consumers in Brno, 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 labelled 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.