First the horse meat showed up in Ireland and in England. Then it came to France. It showed up in supermarkets and frozen lasagna. It appeared at Burger King. It was linked to the mafia. And we laughed and shook our heads and moved on with our days because those places are mostly far away and we don’t eat Burger King.
But then the horse meat showed up at IKEA.
The company had tested its own meatballs and come up empty. But now Czech authorities have said they found traces of horse meat in the company’s Swedish meatballs, and IKEA is pulling them from the shelves “in Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, France, Britain, Portugal, Italy, Netherlands, Belgium, Spain, Greece, Cyprus and Ireland,” according to The New York Times.
And while here in America we don’t really grasp the significance of Tesco and we expect the worst from Burger King, for some reason, it makes us sit up and notice when a company that makes its product out of the wood-based equivalent of pink slime sells meatballs that have sketchy origins too. When IKEA sells horse meat, it forces us to face up to the reality that, with the right packaging, we’ll eat anything.