February 28, 2013 / 8:17 AM / 7 years ago

Poland finds horse DNA in beef at three warehouses

Horses are being shown at Skaryszew horse fair February 18, 2013. REUTERS/Peter Andrews

WARSAW (Reuters) - Polish authorities found evidence of horse DNA in beef stored at three storage facilities after several countries pointed to Poland as one of the sources of tainted meat that has shaken the European food industry.

Poland’s General Veterinary Inspectorate said in a statement late on Wednesday it found three tainted samples from 121 tested, with 80 more to be examined.

On Thursday, a spokeswoman for the Polish arm of furniture giant IKEA said the company stopped buying meatballs from its Polish supplier on concerns they could contain horsemeat.

“Our Polish supplier informed us that there are some concerns,” said Karolina Horoszczak, adding that the supplier had asked IKEA to stop using its products in its restaurants.

“These are preemptive actions and we are still waiting for test results,” she added.

Officials in Ireland, Britain, Germany, Italy and the Czech Republic have reported that products such as burgers and lasagne containing horsemeat originated from facilities in Poland.

Polish officials had previously said they found no signs of horse meat at all abattoirs tested.

A European scandal erupted last month when tests in Ireland revealed some beef products contained horse meat, triggering recalls of ready-made meals in several countries and damaging confidence in Europe’s vast and complex food industry.

Poland exports 330,000 tons of beef products annually, or more than three-quarters of its total production, mainly to other European Union members.

Reporting by Chris Borowski and Dagmara Leszkowicz; Editing by Alison Williams and Helen Massy-Beresford

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