Jordan bans shawarma sale after salmonella cases

Jordanian health authorities have banned the selling of chicken shawarma sandwiches in the kingdom's restaurants, after hundreds got Salmonella poisoning, the acting health minister said Monday. Mohammed al-Thneibat said that 204 people had to be hospitalized for a few hours since Saturday, because they ate sandwiches with undercooked chicken infested by the Salmonella bacteria. Al-Thneibat said the ban also included sale of homemade mayonnaise. It was unclear how long the ban would be in place. The Salmonella is said to have originated from a restaurant in the Palestinian refugee camp of Baqaa, 27 kilometers (17 miles) northwest of the Jordanian capital Amman. The restaurant sold some 600 meals of undercooked chicken meat, causing food poisoning among a third of the consumers. Salmonella poisoning is a bacterial disease involving diarrhea, fever, and abdominal pains up to three days following the infection. The bacteria is destroyed if chicken and eggs are cooked properly. Mayonnaise made of raw eggs is particularly dangerous.