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Moscow Police Arrest 3 After Mass Food Poisoning

Kuchnia Na Rayone general director Anton Lozin. Andrei Nikerichev / Moskva News Agency

Police in Moscow have detained three people following a mass food poisoning incident that left dozens hospitalized, Russian state media reported Tuesday, citing law enforcement officials. 

Health officials said Monday that more than 120 people had sought medical help and at least 30 were in intensive care with suspected foodborne botulism, a life-threatening condition that attacks the nervous system and can cause respiratory failure and paralysis.

Authorities said the toxic outbreak came from salads distributed by the Kuchnia Na Rayone delivery service, which on Sunday temporarily suspended its operations after law enforcement launched a criminal investigation into the poisonings. 

The general director of Kuchnia Na Rayone, Anton Lozin, was among those arrested in connection to that probe, the TASS news agency reported.

According to unconfirmed reports by the Baza Telegram channel, which is believed to have connections to Russian security services, two employees of Gastroport, which prepared the salads, were also arrested.

Russia’s Investigative Committee, which probes major crimes, launched a separate illegal migration case after “several foreign citizens” were found to be unlawfully registered at a place of residence during the investigation.

Moscow’s Deputy Mayor Anastasia Rakova said on Monday there was “no threat to the lives” of those who had been hospitalized thanks to timely medical intervention.

AFP contributed reporting.

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