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McDonald's Russia Forced to Shutter 12 Locations

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Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater's restaurant editor and the author of the publication's debut book, Eater: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes From the Authority on Where to Eat and Why It Matters (Abrams, September 2023). Her work focuses on dining trends and the people changing the industry — and scouting the next hot restaurant you need to try on Eater's annual Best New Restaurant list.

The battle between Russia and McDonald's rages on. A McDonald's Russia press statement (in Russian) says that 12 locations have been temporarily shuttered following "mass unscheduled inspections." Affected locations are in Moscow, Stavropol, and Yekaterinburg.

McDonald's also says that there are more 100 inspections currently underway. (There are over 400 McDonald's locations in Russia.) The Chicago Tribune reports that "Russia's food safety watchdog" Rospotrebnadzor has cited "sanitary reasons" for the closure, but points out that the timing of the closures is suspect, as it "coincided with heightened tensions over the Ukraine crisis."

This is, of course, just another example of Russia's efforts to drop the ban hammer on McDonald's this month. Rospotrebnadzor temporarily shuttered locations earlier this month. This week, a court upheld Rospotrebnadzor's application to shutter three locations in Moscow. The agency has denied that its actions are motivated by political tensions between the West and Russia over the conflict in the Ukraine, though that seems unlikely, since McNuggets aren't the only Western food item facing Russian wrath. Earlier this month, Russia banned all edible imports — including meat, fish, fruit, milk, cheese, and vegetables — from the U.S., the European Union, Canada, and others, a move that many see as retaliatory.

· McDonald's Russia [Official Site via Reuters]
· 12 McDonald's Now Closed by Russian Authorities [Chicago Tribune]
· All Russia Coverage on Eater [-E-]
· All McDonald's Coverage on Eater [-E-]