[THE INVESTOR] The fear of the ‘hamburger disease’ is spreading across the nation after news broke out recently about a 4-year-old girl losing 90 percent of her kidney function, allegedly after eating a hamburger at McDonald’s. The child was hospitalized for 2 months in September 2016, and was diagnosed with Hemolytic Uremic Syndrome. Due to the damage done to the girl’s kidney, she has needed eight to ten hours of peritoneal dialysis on a daily basis.
HUS is commonly known as the ‘hamburger disease’ as it is usually caused by consuming bacteria from contaminated food such as undercooked hamburger patties. The strong link between HUS and hamburgers has raised concerns, especially for parents with young kids.
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Many have been expressing their concerns online about the safety of fast food products. Some have spoken up about their own personal experiences, posting pictures of the undercooked patties they were given.
“Children under five are more susceptible to HUS as their immune system is not as developed. More caution has to be taken for hamburgers because ground beef contains a copious amount of bacteria when not properly cooked,” said Myung-sik Choi, a medical professor at Seoul University.
In addition, experts caution that the rising temperature in the summertime has created a more difficult condition for properly cooking the patties.
The recent ‘hamburger phobia’ has also grabbed the attention of the Ministry of Food and Drug Safety as an official letter was sent out on July 6 to 11 fast-food chains, urging them to conduct thorough inspections of its products and taking proper measures to make sure patties are not being undercooked.
By Alex Lee (email@example.com)