As tensions rise between Russia and the U.S., Russia has launched a retaliatory safety investigation into the cheese McDonald's Russia uses. According to Bloomberg, Russia's food safety agency, Rosselkhoznador, will examine "suppliers of McDonalds cheese" for safety reasons. A spokesperson for the agency told Russian news site ITAR-TASS that it is increasing its monitoring of residual antibiotics in the cheese supplied to McDonald's in Russia. The food safety agency may also place bans on imports of U.S poultry and some fruits from Europe.
The move to investigate the cheese is just another Russian jab at McDonald's. Earlier this week it was reported that officials in Russia have began to accuse the burger chain of "serving food with poor quality." The country's chief sanitary inspector noted, "We have identified violations which put the product quality and safety of the entire McDonald's chain in doubt." A local watchdog agency also filed a lawsuit in Moscow against the golden arches, requesting that they remove items like cheeseburgers and Filets-o-Fish from the menu. Many pro-Russian social media users have furiously urged others to "avoid food from the West" and have called for McDonald's to close its Russian outlets.
Just months ago, McDonald's shuttered all of its locations in Ukraine's Republic of Crimea> Meanwhile, it had announced that it would open more than 70 locations throughout the country, but it looks like those plans will have to be put on hold. McDonald's has faced a tough time abroad as of late: The burger chain is also in the midst of an scandal centered around expired meat in China. One of its major suppliers repackaged old meat with new expiration dates and sold it to McDonald's outlets in China and Japan.
· Russia Eyes Banning U.S. Chicken [Bloomberg via Slate]
· Russia Starts Checking Suppliers [ITAR-TASS]
· All McDonald's Coverage on Eater [-E-]