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Russia checking McDonald's restaurants across the regions

August 21, 2014, 15:57 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Checks began on instructions from the agency Rospotrebnadzor a day after several branches in Moscow were shuttered by the same agency
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© ITAR-TASS/Mikhail Metzel

MOSCOW, August 21./ITAR-TASS/. Suspended operations at several McDonald's restaurants in Moscow have been followed by state food safety watchdog inspections of the chain's outlets in seven Russian regions.

The regulator said on Thursday it was conducting checks at McDonald's outlets in the Moscow region, the Ural mountains regions of Sverdlovsk, Orenburg, Chelyabinsk and Perm, the central Voronezh region and the northwest Karelia region.

It also plans checks in the central Tambov region, the southern Krasnodar region and the Volga region of Udmurtia.

Checks began on instructions from the agency Rospotrebnadzor a day after several branches in Moscow were shuttered by the same agency.

Rospotrebnadzor officials are carrying out inspections in 71 restaurants in 20 cities of the Moscow region. “No restaurants in the Moscow region have been closed yet,” Olga Gavrilenko, an official in the regional office of the regulatory agency told ITAR-TASS. Checks were being conducted in line with recommendations of Rospotrebnadzor, she said, though giving no further details.

Natalya Lukyantseva, an official of the regulator's branch in Sverdlovsk region, said checks had started following complaints from customers about the quality and safety of products in the fast-food chain.

“We cannot say at the moment the exact number of restaurants being checked,” she said. “Results will be announced soon.” McDonald's Russia office said the chain had eight restaurants in Yekaterinburg, Russia’s fourth-largest city and the Ural region's administrative centre.

Among a Russia-wide network of some 430 outlets, inspections would branch out to other locations, a Rospotrebnadzor statement added.

We cannot say at the moment the exact number of restaurants being checked Natalya Lukyantseva an official of the regulator's branch On Wednesday, the agency filed administrative lawsuits against four McDonald’s restaurants in Moscow. Snap inspections from August 18-20 revealed many violations of sanitary regulations, the agency said, adding that legal proceedings had begun ahead of court hearings.

Locations under scrutiny include the restaurant on Moscow's Pushkin Square, which McDonald's says is the busiest in its global network. This was the first to open in Russia, in 1990, seen as a symbol that the Cold War was ending.

Meanwhile, people queued in a long line on Thursday at the only McDonald's restaurant in the city of Izhevsk, near the Ural mountains.

“It is unusual to see such a long queue in the morning," a local driver told ITAR-TASS. "Obviously, people have been buying food for future use," he said.

Local Rospotrebnadzor officials said inspections might soon be conducted there.

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