The Public Institute of Space Health (PISH) has warned devouring swarms and xeno-eaters not to consume any Yondarim meat due to contamination concerns.
The announcement came hours after the Galactic Food Standards Agency (GFSA) confirmed that it had found classified 'pathogenic particles' in the meat, and ordered an urgent recall.
Yondarim meat is processed exclusively by the Zortax Hive, the galaxy's largest provider of sentient meat.
The delicacy is particularly popular among devouring swarms due to its taste and high levels of nutrition, however over the last 2 weeks the meat has been linked to upwards of 3.5 million cases of gut rot, 50% of which have culminated in death.
Chalgax Vippum, chief of the GFSA's inspection division, told Xenonion News:
“There’s something very wrong with the Yondarim meat being produced by the Zortax Hive. While I can't go into any more detail, particles have been found in the meat that are making consumers extremely ill. Our inquiry is ongoing but we know the Zortax have extremely strict food safety standards so we believe it is unlikely this issue has arisen from their production line."
The GFSA are believed to be following a lead that the meat may have been intentionally poisoned as a means to halt Yondarim processing.
Glugub Bnorr, an official representative of the Kingdom of Yondarim told Xenonion News:
"While we of course deny any illegal wrongdoing, we couldn't be more pleased. The Zortax had been declaring war on our empire every ten years with the hopes of converting our citizens into food - they only won last year. The idea of methodically being processed to be eaten by neighbouring empires has been psychologically quite difficult for our species to adapt to, so we're glad to get some respite from this. But no, we're definitely not telling our citizens to dose themselves carefully with dark matter to allow it to accrue in muscle tissue and cause food poising to anybody that eats it. And no, we're definitely not funding that program through Medicare either. Why would you suggest that? Oh, wait... you didn't?"
The GFSA has launched a formal investigation into the Kingdom of Yondarim's role in the meat scandal, and has warned if the empire is complicit in making its own people unfit to be eaten it could face stiff charges from the Galactic UN's Supreme Court.
Vippum went on to state:
“Look, I know it’s not pleasant having your culture and society systemically wiped out, but that doesn't mean you can flaunt food safety regulations just because you don’t want to be eaten. If the Yondarim are doing this, then they're being unreasonable and selfish. They're making innocent xeno younglings out there very sick."
The Zortax Hive states it is "at one" with the GFSA's investigation and is complying with orders to stop Yondarim meat production and recall all active shipments.
Zortax spokesperson Supervising Unit 25 released this statement today:
"We would like to reassure all xeno lovers--ahem--xeno meat lovers that we remain committed to your health and safety and will continue to deliver healthy, wholesome xeno meats for you and your families. If you were affected by the tainted Yondarim meat, please contact us via the Shroud and we will do everything we can to right this wrong."
A joint statement by the GFSA and PISH has advised all xeno eaters to immediately stop cooking Yondarim products and return them to the point of purchase for a full refund.
When asked for an alternative, Vippum quipped;
“I’m not much of a cook, myself, but if you’re looking for a decent substitute to Yondarim, I’d give Human a try. Look, I know people frown on eating them because... well... it's hard to deny they're kinda gross-looking, but it’s dirt cheap and not all that different if you prepare it properly.”
Shares on the Space Exchange Index (SExI) for Zortax, and its largest corporate customer TacoBell, have fallen on the news.