SHARJAH // Health chiefs investigating a fatal outbreak of food poisoning have closed a restaurant-style public kitchen.
The decision was taken as a precaution during the inquiry into the outbreak, during which a man died and three others required hospital treatment, said Shatha Ali Al Mualla, director of the public health department at Sharjah Municipality.
"It is a temporary closure and its fate will be decided by the results of the investigation," she said.
The name of the kitchen and its location was not revealed.
The man who died was one of four people taken to Kuwait Hospital last Friday after suffering from symptoms of severe food poisoning.
The victim, from Pakistan, was dead on arrival.
The others, between the ages of 40 and 55, received treatment.
In an unrelated incident, also last Friday, 10 children and two teenagers were treated at Al Qassimi hospital for symptoms of food poisoning after eating at a fast-food restaurant in a shopping mall.
All were treated and discharged the same day, except for one child who was kept in hospital for observation.
Ms Al Mualla said the municipality continuously inspects food outlets to ensure that hygiene and safety standards were being followed.
"The inspections are not just to fine the offending kitchens but to secure the lives of residents who eat the food prepared by them," she said.
She said most food-poisoning cases reported during the summer occurred after people had eaten fast food or pre-prepared food.
Ms Al Mualla urged people not to eat food that has been kept in a car for more than 30 minutes as the heat during the day can cause it to go bad very quickly.