LEGAL | Staff Reporter, Korea

McDonald's Korea office raided by prosecutors over “burger patty scandal”

The so-called scandal dates back to July 2017.

The local office of McDonald’s Korea in Seoul was raided by prosecutors over allegations that an undercooked burger sold at one of its restaurants caused a girl to become ill, Yonhap News Agency reported officials as saying.

Documents, including those on food material management, were seized by prosecutors and investigators from the Seoul Central District Prosecutors Office, officials said.

The raid came a year and nine months after nine groups of activists lodged a complaint with the prosecution against McDonald's Korea, the patty supplier and government officials over several charges including violation of the food safety law and injury stemming from negligence.

The so-called burger patty scandal dates back to July 2017, when the mother of a 5-year-old girl filed a complaint accusing the fast food giant’s Korean operator of being responsible for her child's incurable kidney disease.

The mother claimed that her daughter was diagnosed with hemolytic uremic syndrome after eating one of its burgers served with an undercooked patty in September 2016. The prosecution launched an investigation into the allegations after a series of similar complaints followed.

In February 2018, state prosecutors decided not to file charges against the fast food chain, citing “insufficient evidence” to back the accusations. The prosecution only indicted three officials from a McDonald's burger patty supplier for violating hygiene control and food safety regulations.

The prosecution began a reinvestigation into the case in January last year after a new complaint was filed by the aforementioned nine civic groups.

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