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27/08/01 . Unknown . Reuters . BUENOS AIRES, Argentina  
Argentina Shuts McDonald's Outlets  
Argentine health authorities ordered the closure of four McDonald's (NYSE:MCD - news) fast food outlets in downtown Buenos Aires on Monday after potentially harmful bacteria was found in chicken burgers, officials said.  

Buenos Aires health department director Martha Lopez Barrios urged the Argentine public not to eat McChicken burgers until further notice. She said other McDonald's products appeared to be unaffected.

McDonald's was not immediately available for comment.

"I think the (outlets) are already shut. There are four outlets," Lopez Barrios told current affairs television program Behind the News. "McChicken (burgers) have been taken out of circulation. I would ask (consumers) to abstain (from eating them) until the national authorities tell us the product is harmless.

McDonald's restaurants are franchise-run in Argentina, and outlets in Buenos Aires province recently started accepting "patacon" bonds the cash-strapped local government has issued to pay part of some state workers' salaries, even introducing a new "Patacombo" meal.

McDonald's employs some 12,500 people in Argentina, where it last year posted sales of $240 million.  
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