RIYADH — The Oversight and Anti-Corruption Authority (Nazaha) has uncovered alarming attempts to conceal or destroy evidence and potential collusion among food inspectors in response to the recent food poisoning incident in Riyadh.

The authority is escalating its investigations and has affirmed that severe accountability measures will be enforced against any officials found negligent. This includes those who failed to act or delayed actions in a manner that contributed to the poisoning or impeded the response to its consequences.

Following royal directives, a high committee has been established to ensure strict compliance with these accountability measures. The King and the Crown Prince have been closely monitoring the situation, emphasizing the need for rapid and transparent actions to safeguard public health and safety.

Nazaha reassured the public that the incident has been fully contained and measures will be strictly applied against anyone found compromising public safety or obstructing the investigation.

"Reassuring every citizen and resident that the incident has been contained and overcome, the authority confirms that accountability measures will be taken against anyone found to be negligent in ensuring public safety and health, or who engages in actions aimed at obstructing the investigation and concealing facts related to the causes of the poisoning," stated Nazaha.

Initial probes indicated possible malpractices, including efforts by some unscrupulous food inspectors to gain personally at the public's expense. These individuals reportedly attempted to hide or destroy evidence linked to the poisoning.

The source of the poisoning was identified as contaminated mayonnaise containing "Clostridium botulinum," from the BON TUM brand, used at Hamburgini restaurant. Promptly responding, the Ministry of Municipal and Rural Affairs and Housing, in coordination with the Saudi Food and Drug Authority, ceased the distribution of the implicated mayonnaise and commenced a recall. Production at the involved manufacturing facility has been halted to enforce necessary safety standards.

Comprehensive actions have included recalling all product batches across various production lines and instructing all clients of the facility to dispose of any remaining stock. These measures are part of broader efforts by local authorities to enhance food safety monitoring and regulation.

The Ministry of Health reported that the situation is now under control, with no new cases reported in recent days. Out of the 75 initially affected, 43 individuals have fully recovered. However, 20 remain in intensive care, and there has been one fatality. The Ministry continues to provide medical care and closely monitor the situation, urging the public to rely on official sources for accurate information.

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