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Russian watchdog suspects deliberate use of milk with antibiotics by PepsiCo plant

The regulator found tetracycline group antibiotics in Lamber cheese produced at Altai-based Rubtsovsky Dairy Plant in November 2017

MOSCOW, December 18. /TASS/. Russian veterinary and phytosanitary watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor suspects that Altai-based Rubtsovsky Dairy Plant affiliated with PepsiCo deliberately used raw milk with antibiotics in cheese production, the regulator said on Monday.

The regulator found tetracycline group antibiotics in Lamber cheese produced at this plant in November 2017. The prosecutor’s office of the Altai Region endorsed an unscheduled field inspection of the plant by Rosselkhoznadzor inspectors in view of this fact.

"The analysis of the log of antibiotics presence in milk showed that the test system in use recorded over 20 cases of antibiotics presence in tested lots of raw milk. However, according to data of the procured milk check log, the said lots were taken for further processing. The plant cannot confirm return of unsafe raw materials (containing antibiotics). The possibility of flowing of these raw materials into processing cannot be excluded," the regulator said.

Representatives of the plant at the same time assured Rosselkhoznadzor of returning unsafe raw materials to the producer, official spokesperson of the regulator Yulia Melano told TASS. Raw materials were to be returned via the regional veterinary service. Neither the veterinary service nor producers of raw materials have documents evidencing that the return took place, Melano said.

Inspection of the Rubtsovsky Dairy Plant continues at present.