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WASHINGTON (AP) - The horse meat scandal that is hitting Europe has not spread to the United States, allowing American consumers to rest easier when buying ground beef or sitting down for a plate of meatballs at Ikea.

The United States has rigorous meat inspections, and horse meat isn't readily available. So, while it's certainly possible that some hidden horse meat has made its way to the United States, it's unlikely to become a larger problem.

Horse meat has recently been found mixed into beef dishes sold across Europe, including in frozen supermarket meals. Furniture giant Ikea this week withdrew its famous meatballs from stores in Europe because of suspected horse meat, but stores in the United States and Canada weren't affected because they use a U.S. supplier.

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