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Russia launches probe into US fast food quality

July 30, 2014, 16:21 UTC+3 Alexandrova Lyudmila
© EPA/MAXIM SHIPENKOV

MOSCOW, July 30. /ITAR-TASS/. Complaints about American fast food quality are increasingly louder in Russia. Checks can come to McDonalds as well as KFC and Burger King chains. However, American fast food has already conquered a hefty piece of the Russian market.

According to Izvestia daily on Wednesday, probes follow Duma deputy Roman Khudyakov from political party LDPR request to the federal consumer rights service Rospotrebnadzor to check food quality in KFC and Burger King.

“Inspection authorities have already detected problems with a number of items sold in McDonalds that can be dangerous for health,” he said.

Several days ago, the watchdog filed a lawsuit at a Moscow court demanding that McDonalds is stripped of its right to sell a number of products in Russia. Violations were detected during a planned check in May in two fast food restaurants in Nizhni Novgorod. The check showed that fat, protein and carbohydrate content in burgers, cheeseburgers, filet-o-fish, chicken burgers, ice cream with fillings and cocktails did not correspond with the information declared for customers.

“The violations detected cast shadow on the quality and safety of all McDonalds products”, both in terms of safety and energy, said Rospotrebnadzor chief, Russia’s main sanitary doctor Anna Popova.

McDonalds emerged in Russia in 1990 and since then has expanded the network to 423 restaurants. McDonalds has faced repeated accusations in different countries of selling food that leads to obesity. In 2012, the Russian Consumer Rights Protection Society filed a lawsuit similar to Rospotrebnadzor’s.

Meanwhile, the US third largest fast food company Wendy’s has announced departure from the Russian market closing its eight restaurants. According to the company’s spokesman Bob Bertini, the wind-up is due to the local franchisee’s change of management.

Russian fast food market has been developing at a rapid pace recently, by an average of 20% a year. Over the last 20 years, almost all world fast food leaders have entered the Russian market. Russian operators have taken the cue.

The looming checks provoked a lively discussion on the Runet about whose fast food is better and whether it is harmful at all. Some LiveJournal users vote for unrivalled American fast food, saying pancakes, which are now the main feature in Russian fast food restaurants, are only good when made with loving mum hands at home.

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