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Russian office workers shift to brown bag lunches after vending machine food poisonings

On July 16, a massive food poisoning incident occured in Moscow

MOSCOW, August 2. /TASS/. Almost two-thirds of office employees in Russian companies prefer homemade food with 63% of them brown-bagging several days a week, according to a survey conducted by for its business platform.

After a recent outbreak of food poisoning from Moscow vending machines, nine out of ten respondents (91%) said they had stopped buying food there.

The survey was conducted throughout Russia from July 26 to July 31. About 500 office employees from small and mid-sized companies were interviewed.

"A survey of small and medium-sized business employees showed that almost two-thirds of Russian company employees prefer homemade meals. Sixty-three percent bring food with them to the office several times a week, while 28% of the respondents have launch at a cafe several times a week, and 20% eat in an office canteen," according to the results of the survey released by the press service of

The poll revealed that employees of small and medium-sized businesses reacted negatively to the media reports about the string of food poisonings from vending machines.

"Nine out of ten (91%) of the respondents said that after they learned about the poisonings, they stopped buying food in such vending machines," the poll reported.

According to the data, the majority of the respondents (90%) said their employer did not compensate them for their food costs, but 18% of them said that their offices offer free food: lunches, cookies, crackers and sometimes fruits. Those who prefer to have launch in the office cafeteria are satisfied with the food quality, according to 44% of the respondents. Slightly less, 39% of those polled rated the quality of food in their canteens as average and 17% were utterly dissatisfied. At the same time, half of the pollees believe that the price corresponds to the quality. On average, an employee's lunch costs 300 rubles ($4.5); 44% spend up to 200 rubles ($3), while 32% spend between 200 and 300 rubles.

"More than a third of office workers (37%) answered negatively to the question about food safety in their canteens. Almost one in ten respondents (8%) noted that there were cases of food poisoning in their companies, while 79% stressed that neither the canteen nor the employer paid compensation for it," the study said.

Healthy Food poisoning case

On July 16, a widespread case of food poisoning among Moscow office workers from snacks sold through the Healthy Food vending machine service was reported. A total of 37 people were hospitalized, while the number of affected exceeded 90. Experts of the Russian Federal Service for the Oversight of Consumer Protection and Welfare discovered expired products, unmarked produce, as well as food and products with fake expiration dates at the company's production facility.

On August 1, Moscow’s Gagarinsky District Court suspended the operation of the Healthy Food chain’s vending machines for 90 days following the mass food poisoning outbreak.