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THE INVESTOR
June 17, 2021

Retail & Consumer

Korean girl faces lifetime dialysis after eating at McDonald’s

  • PUBLISHED :June 22, 2017 - 15:03
  • UPDATED :June 22, 2017 - 15:03
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[THE INVESTOR] McDonald’s, the world’s largest fast food chain, is refusing compensation for a four-year-old girl who was hospitalized after eating a hamburger at its outlet in Korea. 

The child was diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome a few days after eating the hamburger. HUS is commonly known as the ‘hamburger disease’ as it is usually caused by consuming bacteria from contaminated food such as undercooked hamburger patties. McDonald’s, however, is denying all responsibility arguing that the medical report did not specify the cause of the illness that can link the disease with its product. 




The girl has been under intensive care at the hospital for two months and lost about 90 percent of her kidney function. She is now in need of an eight to ten hour dialysis on a daily basis with medical bills reaching upwards of 30 million won (US$26,220) 

To claim insurance, the mother of the child, reached out to McDonalds, only to receive a statement and request for the child’s medical report with the specific cause. 

“We checked all the products sold at the branch and found nothing,” said McDonald’s.

The restaurant also dismissed the child’s medical report on grounds that the HUS diagnosis failed to specify the food that caused the disease. 

“A medical report documents the patient’s condition following tests along with its symptoms. There is no doctor who can write a medical report on what the patient ate or what the root cause of the illness is based solely on a patient’s words,” said Kim Kwang-sik, a medical journalist at KBS.

By Alex Lee (alexlee@heraldcorp.com)

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