Investigators in Seoul, South Korea have raided the offices of McDonald’s after allegations surfaced that several children became ill after they ate at the U.S. fast-food chain.
A minimum of five children allegedly have suffered a kidney disease that is life threatening as a result of an infection, following the consumption of hamburger patties that were under cooked at McDonald’s.
During the raid Wednesday of the Seoul offices, prosecutor’s from the central district office confiscated several documents as well as other evidence reported local news outlets.
In addition, investigators carried out separate raids at three other businesses, in relation to their investigations including a supplier of different ingredients used by the U.S. fast-food giant.
A McDonald’s spokesperson from its office in Seoul confirmed the office was raided by prosecutors, but did not give any reason for the raid or release any further details.
Last July, a complaint was filed by a consumer against U.S. based McDonald’s that said her daughter had been diagnosed by doctors as having hemolytic uremic syndrome, which is also called hamburger disease, after her daughter had eaten a hamburger from McDonald’s in 2016.
The parent of the girl said that her four-year old now suffered from kidney damage she called irreversible.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is quite rare, but a severe side effect from an infection with certain E. coli bacteria strains. The syndrome damages the body’s red blood cells, and that can cause them to clog the kidneys and cause organ failure which can be life-threatening.
The syndrome has its hamburger disease nickname because the E. coli strain of bacteria that causes the syndrome can be found in red meat that is undercooked.
Hemolytic uremic syndrome is also the most common cause for acute kidney failure in young children and infants.
Other complaints were filed by four other parents of children who were sickened after eating burgers from McDonald’s.
During August, consumers at a Jeonju, South Korea McDonald’s which is in the southwestern region of the country, reported having stomach pains as well as high fever after they ate bulgogi burgers.
The fast-food giant halted sales temporarily of those burgers, which it had launched back in 1997. McDonald’s said sales had been halted to determine what the cause was.
At that time, McDonald’s announced it had been cooperating with the investigations into the possible case of food contamination.