In Brief

Mongolia suspends KFC operations amid food poisoning fears

Hundreds fall sick following suspected hygiene breaches

Mongolia has suspended operations at all of the country’s KFC restaurants after an outlet in the capital was linked to hundreds of reports of suspected food poisoning.

Authorities from the country’s Metropolitan Professional Inspection Agency (MPIA) said the local licence holder of the KFC franchise in the Zaisan area of Ulaanbaatar was responsible for 247 cases of diarrhoea, vomiting and fever reported over the last month. More than 40 people have been hospitalised.

The ill diners, who included two KFC workers, suffered gastrointestinal diseases caused by the shigella bacteria, reports China’s Xinhua News Agency.

A preliminary inspection found “serious violations in health standards and a failure in internal hygiene controls” at the Zaisan branch, with lab tests later revealing a presence of bacteria in the drinking water and E. coli in fizzy drinks, reports Bloomberg.

Mongolia’s 11 KFC outlets, all of which are in the capital, will remain closed while a full inquiry is carried out.

A spokesperson for KFC Global told Reuters: “We deeply regret the negative impact that many people have suffered, especially to our guests of the Zaisan restaurant, and we are working to support our team members and customers during this difficult time. 

“KFC Mongolia is cooperating fully with the government’s investigation and recommendations around addressing the source of the incident. This includes a thorough investigation of all KFC Mongolia restaurants, and specifically into determining the exact cause of the reported incident.”

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