Investigators have raided McDonald’s offices in Seoul, South Korea after allegations that several children fell ill after eating the U.S. chain’s.
At least five children have allegedly suffered life-threatening kidney disease as a result of a infection, after being served under-cooked hamburger patties at McDonald’s.
The raid on Wednesday saw the Seoul central district prosecutors’ office confiscated documents and evidence local news reports said.
Raid: McDonald’s offices in South Korea were raided on Wedneday after allegations children had suffered severe kidney damage after being infected by bacteria found in undercooked hamburgers served at their restaurants
Investigators also carried out raids at three other companies, including an ingredient supplier.
A spokeswoman at McDonald’s Seoul office confirmed the raid to Reuters, but gave no reason or further details.
In July, a consumer filed a complaint against the U.S. firm, saying her daughter was diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome – also known as hamburger disease – following the consumption of a McDonald’s hamburger last year.
The parent said that the four-year-old girl had been left with irreversible kidney damage.
At least five South Korean children have allegedly suffered life-threatening kidney disease as a result of a infection, after being served under-cooked hamburger patties at McDonald’s
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is a rare but severe side effect of an infection with certain strains of E. coli bacteria.
It damages the red blood cells, which can clog up the kidneys and cause life-threatening organ failure.
It is nicknamed ‘hamburger disease’ because the particular strain of E.coli that causes the infection can be found in under-cooked red meat.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is the most common cause of acute kidney failure in infants and young children.
Complaints were also filed by parents of four more children who became sick after eating McDonald’s burgers.
In August, consumers at a McDonald’s in the southwestern city of Jeonju reported stomach aches and high fever after eating bulgogi burgers. The chain temporarily halted sales of the burgers, launched in 1997, to determine the cause.
At the time, McDonald’s said it was cooperating with an investigation by the South Korean government into the possible food contamination case.
Last year, talks to sell McDonald’s South Korean business to domestic firm KG Chemical Corporation collapsed over ‘a large difference of opinion’.