South Korean Prosecutors Seek Arrest Warrants For McDonald's Officials Following Patty Scandal

Hillary Chung, Nov. 30, 2017, 9:52 a.m.

Prosecutors filed for court warrants Thursday to arrest three officials from a burger patty supplier of the local unit of McDonald's as part of their probe into allegations that the fast food chain's burgers have caused some consumers to get sick due to undercooking.

The three executives, whose identities were withheld by the Seoul Central District Prosecutors' Office, have been charged with violating the law regarding safety and hygiene control over livestock products, the office said in a release.

They are accused of overlooking a hygiene test for patties that might be susceptible to a type of bacteria that causes a form of acute kidney failure known as hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS), and of still supplying them to McDonald's Korea.

Prosecutors have been investigating the local unit of the U.S. fast food chain on suspicions that several consumers, including a 5-year-old girl, became sick after they ate McDonald's burgers served with undercooked patties.

The young girl's mother filed a complaint in July seeking a probe into McDonald's, saying that her daughter now suffers from HUS and has to receive dialysis for the rest of her life.

Prosecutors raided McDonald's Korea's headquarters and three of its partner firms last month to seize evidence. Joh Ju-yeon, the chief of the Seoul unit, has expressed regret over the issue.

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