OTTAWA - No meat products involved in a European labelling controversy have been sold in Canada, says the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.
European countries have been embroiled in scandal after horsemeat was found in common products labelled as beef or pork.
Swedish retailer Ikea recently withdrew meatballs from stores across Europe after testing detected horse DNA in a batch of beef and pork meatballs, though Ikea says stores in Canada use meatballs produced in the United States.
Canada does not import beef from Europe, and imports meat only from countries with an approved inspection system, a spokeswoman for the food inspection agency said in an email Monday.
Imported raw and ready-to-eat meat products are monitored by a CFIA sampling program that confirms the species match the product labelling, said Lisa Murphy.
Ground meat is tested because sampling is done when the species cannot be confirmed by a visual inspection, she said.
Horsemeat is popular in certain types of <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/10/horse-trading-exposed-by-_n_2658348.html">French cooking</a>, Reuters reports. The meat was recently <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/15/eat-horsemeant-french-chef-martin-leman_n_2695567.html?utm_hp_ref=business">described as 'delicious, like rich beef,'</a> by one French chef.
China is one of the world's largest consumers of horsemeat, according to Fox News. The <a href="http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/02/15/beyond-taboo-is-horse-meat-really-that-bad-to-eat/">meat is typically dried to eat like a sausage</a> or is served with rice noodles.
<a href="http://www.foxnews.com/health/2013/02/15/beyond-taboo-is-horse-meat-really-that-bad-to-eat/#ixzz2L0SLmgSj">Horsemeat is also popular in Kazakhstan,</a> according to Fox News. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations believes the country is the second largest consumer of horsemeat, behind China.
<a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2013/02/09/171520528/british-outrage-grows-as-horsemeat-pops-up-in-more-foods">Indonesians make horse satay</a> out of horsemeat, according to NPR.
German Sauerbraten, or roast, <a href="http://www.germanfoodguide.com/cookingdetail.cfm">is traditionally made with horsemeat</a>.
Horsemeat is a <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/opinion/19iht-edjohnson.1.13829773.html">"dietary staple" </a>in Belgium, according to the New York Times.
The Japanese like their horse like they like their sushi: <a href="http://news.discovery.com/animals/what-does-horse-meat-taste-like-130212.htm">sliced thin and eaten raw</a>.
Despite<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/02/13/coop-horsemeat-lasagne_n_2678730.html"> Switzerland's involvement in the horsemeat scandal</a>, the meat is still <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/19/opinion/19iht-edjohnson.1.13829773.html">considered OK to eat </a>in the country, according to the New York Times.
<a href="www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/news/4793671/business-on-rise-for-mongolian-restaurant-serving-horse-meat.html">A Mongolian diner in Glasgow, Scotland </a> has seen business boom since recently adding horse burger and horse chips to its menu.