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KALININGRAD, November 24. /TASS/. The Arbitration Tribunal of Russia’s Kaliningrad region put a 2,228-dollar fine (100,000 rubles) Monday on local McDonald’s fast food restaurants for violation of technical regulations, court officials told TASS.
The court harshly sanctioned local McDonald’s chain as Russia's food safety watchdog discovered coliform bacteria in fast food meals during an inspection in September.
There are only two McDonald’s restaurants in the region, located in the regional capital of Kaliningrad on Teatralnaya Street and Sovetsky Prospect. Earlier, the two restaurants were inspected in 2011 and 2012, following complaints from customers. The checks confirmed one of the complaints and the company was charged with sanitary violations.
Starting this summer, Russia's safety regulator has been inspecting McDonald’s chain, which includes 435 restaurants in 85 Russian cities. As a result, more than 200 fast food eateries have been thoroughly inspected, nine of which were finally closed and others harshly fined for sanitary norms violations. Eventually, McDonald’s net profit in the country has slashed 30% in the third quarter of 2014, reaching 1.068 billion US dollars.
McDonald’s has become less popular in Russia in recent months. According to a poll, conducted this October by the state-run All-Russia Center for the Study of Public Opinion VTSIOM, 49% of respondents supported the idea of closing all McDonald’s restaurants throughout the country, pointing to extremely poor quality of the food and claiming it to be unsavoury, while only 33% were against the idea. Moreover, half of all McDonald’s consumers considered the restaurants moderate, one in three visitors were unsatisfied with the food and quality, while only one tenth of the respondents evaluated the dinner positively.