800 Poisoned, 5-Year-Old Dies in Rotten Meat Scandal in Jordan

800 Poisoned, 5-Year-Old Dies in Rotten Meat Scandal in Jordan

TEHRAN (Tasnim) – At least 826 people have been hospitalized and a child died after a Jordanian shawarma restaurant served unrefrigerated meat-based meal despite a 40-degree heatwave.

Reports say everyone who fell ill, including the five-year-old boy who died, had eaten at the restaurant in the Ein al-Basha neighborhood, just outside the capital Amman, Independent reported.

Huge numbers of customers were reportedly attracted to the eatery because it was offering half-price shawarma, a popular meal of grilled meat cooked on a vertical rotisserie.

However, despite Jordan experiencing a heatwave with temperatures soaring past 40 degrees, the restaurant owner allegedly did not keep the shawarma meat in the fridge.

An official from Jordan’s health ministry, Adnan Ishaq, told state TV the meat had become infected because it was not chilled and lab tests had revealed bacteria growing in it.

The young boy had been taken to hospital on Monday when the first food poisoning cases were detected, but doctors were unable to save him after he suffered heart failure.

By Wednesday, hundreds of those hospitalized had been released, but four of the victims remained in intensive care and a further 321 were in a stable condition elsewhere in the hospital, the health minister Saad Jaber said.

Mr Jabar said an investigation into the poisoning outbreak was under way and “any offender will be held accountable, regardless of who they are”.

Three people, including the owner of the shawarma restaurant, have already been arrested, according to reports in local media.

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