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Horse Meat Found in Sausages from Europe

Horse meat was found in a batch of sausage imported from Europe, Russian officials said Wednesday.

Major European suppliers have been heavily criticized in recent weeks as across the Continent horse meat has been identified in food products, frequently labeled as containing beef. But this is the first time the scandal has touched Russia.

The sausages in Russia were found in the Moscow region and had been cleared by customs, said Sergei Dankvert, head of the federal Veterinary and Phytosanitary Inspection Service, Interfax reported.

Preliminary data suggested that the sausages had been made in Austria.

Officials will determine exactly where the sausages were made and prohibit the sale of products from that producer, Interfax quoted Dankvert as saying.

Swedish furniture giant Ikea was forced to assure its customers Tuesday that the meatballs it sells in its 14 stores across Russia would not be affected by a recall it issued after horse meat was discovered in some of its European products.

Chief sanitary inspector Gennady Onishchenko also waded into the horse meat scandal and urged Russians to shun foreign products in favor of locally sourced food.

"Use only Russian products," he told radio station Ekho Moskvy last week. "Refrain from lasagna and hamburgers. … Reasonable caution never hurt anyone."

In 2011, Russia banned EU vegetable imports for months over a deadly E.coli outbreak, a move the EU called disproportionate.

Material from Reuters is included in this report.

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