By Riyaz ul Khaliq
ANKARA (AA) - American fast-food chain Kentucky Fried Chicken, or KFC, shut its operations in Mongolia following reports of food poisoning at one of its outlets, media reports said.
At least three dozen people fell ill and were hospitalized after eating KFC food, AMB news website reported.
KFC, the world’s second-largest American fast food restaurant chain, started its operations in Mongolia in 2013 and has 11 restaurants there which are based in the capital city.
"The [food poisoning] incident occurred in Ulaanbaatar last week and was caused by poor internal hygiene checks," AMB quoted Ulaanbaatar city Metropolitan Professional Inspection Agency.
Nearly 250 people had been treated for food poisoning with symptoms including frequent diarrhea, fever and vomiting.
Soon after the mass reporting of food poisoning, the Mongolian officials launched an investigation into KFC outlets and took 39 samples of food, 41 raw food products, 5 air samples, 2 samples of drinking water and 4 samples of beverages for micro-biological analysis, AMB added.
"Preliminary checks show it was caused by the restaurant’s water supply where bacteria had bred," the Ulaanbaatar city Metropolitan Professional Inspection Agency said Monday.
A KFC representative has “regretted” the incident saying, "We are working to support our team members and customers during this difficult time and cooperating fully with the government’s investigation and recommendations."