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Furniture giant Ikea said Tuesday it was looking at selling or giving away meatballs in its home country of Sweden that were recalled after tests showed they contained traces of horse DNA.
"We are looking at ways of using the meatballs as food, since they are completely safe to eat. But we are still in talks with the authorities over this," spokeswoman Ylva Magnusson said.
"If we are unsuccessful our other option is to use them as biogas," she added.
The main challenge was to find a way to comply with Swedish authorities' requirement that all food be labelled with "exact information" on meat content, Magnusson said.
"We're discussing how to sell or give away the meatballs as food, even though the percentage (of different meats) may vary," she said.
Horsemeat had only been found in a small number of the production batches that were pulled from shelves in February, she noted.
"There is no health risk associated with eating these meatballs."
The meatballs would only be sold or given away in Sweden, where most of them have been stored after Czech authorities in February said they contained horsemeat.
Ikea stores in other countries would have to follow local rules and regulations, Magnusson said.
The Swedish company pulled its trademark frozen meatballs off the shelves and from its restaurants in 25 countries in Europe and Asia after traces of horse DNA were found.
It suffered further embarrassment this month when its frozen elk lasagne was shown to contain traces of pork.