Ulan Bator - The Specialized Inspection Agency of Ulan Bator (SIAU) said on Monday that it has temporarily suspended operations of all restaurants of international fast food chain KFC in Mongolia to carry out an inspection.
The agency decided "to close all branches of KFC in Mongolia for an indefinite period from Monday to carry out an inspection," Dorj Dariimaa, spokesperson of the SIAU, told Xinhua.
The decision came after around 40 people were hospitalised in the Mongolian capital due to food poisoning after eating fried chicken at a KFC restaurant in the Khan-Uul district in the city last week.
Some were in severe condition.
No public comments on the issue from the KFC were available.
The results of a preliminary investigation by experts of the SIAU suggest the food poisoning was caused by the restaurant's water supply which contains high levels of nitrate.
Those affected, including two workers of the restaurant, suffered from gastrointestinal diseases caused by the shigella bacteria, the experts told a press conference.
The bacteria can breed in food and water at an optimum temperature, which can easily cause bacillary dysentery, they said.
Further investigation is underway, they added. The first KFC restaurant in the Asian country was opened in May 2013. Currently, there are 12 KFC restaurants in the country, all located in Ulan Bator.