A court in Moscow has "upheld" an application from the state-backed food safety watchdog Rospotrebnadzor to shutter three McDonald's locations in Moscow. According to Russia Today, the courts have ordered a 90-day shut down of the fast food chain's outlets over numerous alleged food safety violations. Apparently inspectors for the watchdog agency found that there were "no separate refrigerators for storage of raw materials and finished products" and that "food was prepared in improper conditions."
A spokesperson for McDonald's Russia tells Reuters they "do not agree with the courts' decisions and will appeal them according to established procedures." So far, Rospotrebnadzor has closed five McDonald's in Russia and it has launched unscheduled inspections at locations across several regions of the country, again citing "breaches of sanitary rules." The agency keeps denying that its actions are motivated by political tensions between the West and Russia over Ukraine.
Big Macs aren't the only Western food item feeling Russia's wrath. Earlier this month, Russia banned all edible imports — including meat, fish, fruit, milk, cheese, and vegetables — from the U.S., Norway, the European Union, Canada, and Australia which many see as an action in retaliation for sanctions over Ukraine.
· Three Moscow McDonald's Closed [RT]
· Courts Close Three McDonald's Branches [Reuters]
· McDonald's Russia Under Attack: Four Locations Close [-E-]
· All McDonald's Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All Russia Coverage on Eater [-E-]