Starbucks shuts 10 Mexico City cafes due to flu

Starbucks Corp. said Monday it has shut down 10 of its cafes in Mexico City in response to the swine flu outbreak. One of its employees in the city is also now being treated for flu symptoms.

The Seattle-based premium coffee chain said it has not been confirmed whether the employee has the same strain as the swine flu now suspected in up to 103 deaths in Mexico, where the outbreak appears to have begun.

About 40 cases – none fatal – of swine flu have been confirmed in the United States and six in Canada, according to the World Health Organization.

Shares fell 31 cents, or 2.3 percent, to close at $13.20.

Starbucks said in a statement that it closed the stores “pursuant to instructions from the Mexican government.” Most of the stores are near major population centers such as shopping malls and universities.

The company said it is communicating with its employees around the world to reinforce personal hygiene guidelines and sanitation procedures.

Starbucks also said it is working with its pork suppliers to “monitor product safety and quality standards.”

Starbucks operates 259 stores in Mexico.



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