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Health chiefs move to reassure the public after STI outbreak at McDonald’s branch in Northern Ireland

The public Health Agency (PHA) has reassured McDonald’s punters there should be no worries about their McFlurries following a gonorrhoea outbreak at a local branch.

The PHA said the sexually transmitted infection was not spread through casual contact such as sharing food and drinks.

Filet-O-Fish fans are also okay to engage in “hugging, coughing or sneezing”, as gonorrhoea is only transmitted via penetrative sex.

A recent bombshell investigation into working conditions at McDonald’s revealed that a branch in Northern Ireland had been at the centre of a gonorrhoea outbreak due to rampant sexually activity between staff.

The CEO for the fast-food giant in the UK and Ireland was forced to apologise on the back of the BBC special investigation in which more than 100 current and former employees came forward to allege they had been sexually harassed or assaulted or subjected to racism or bullying.

Alistair Macrow said the company had “clearly fallen short in some critical areas”.

One of the allegations reported by BBC News said that there was “an outbreak of gonorrhoea at a branch in Northern Ireland where sexual relationships between staff members were commonplace”.

The broadcaster began investigating working conditions in outlets in February after the chain signed a legally binding agreement with the Equality and Human Rights Commission (EHRC) pledging to protect staff from sexual harassment.

It has revealed allegations of a toxic culture, with some workers as young as 17 claiming they are almost routinely groped and harassed.

In further controversy for the company, the BBC is to investigate allegations that an employee in Ireland was subjected to taunts at work after she was raped at a house party.

Ciara Mangan waived her right to anonymity and spoke publicly this week after a former co-worker was convicted of the attack 10 years ago.

In a statement, Mr Macrow said: “I commend Ciara’s bravery in speaking about her horrific experience.

“I am deeply appalled by these new allegations and commit to investigating them to our fullest extent through our investigation-handling unit.”

Referring back to the BBC report, he added: “I would like to reiterate my unreserved apology to, and empathy with, all those affected in any way, and I commend their bravery in coming forward.

“We have clearly fallen short […] and I am determined to root out any behaviour that falls below the high standards of respect, safety and inclusion we demand of everyone at McDonald’s, as detailed in our global brand standards.”

(Source: Belfast Telegraph)

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