VORONEZH, August 21 (RIA Novosti) – Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, Rospotrebnadzor, has launched a massive inspection of McDonald’s restaurants throughout central Russia, a regional watchdog representative said Thursday.
“We have a letter and this is an order issued by the government from the [Rospotrebnadzor] federal service. We have already begun inspections,” the representative said.
Inspections are currently underway in 16 other Russian regions besides Moscow and the Moscow Region.
Four McDonald’s restaurants were temporarily closed in Moscow on Wednesday after numerous violations of sanitary regulations had been found at the popular fast food outlet’s branches, with Rospotrebnadzor saying McDonald’s products contain more fat, protein and carbohydrates than allowed by the country’s “technological norms."
A Moscow court spokesperson said in July that McDonald’s cheeseburgers, Royal Cheeseburgers, Filet-o-Fish sandwiches, chicken burgers, as well as milkshakes and ice cream with fruit toppings, should be banned, citing health concerns.
In the past, health and consumer groups have already criticized McDonald’s for its menu and business practices. Earlier this year, the food chain had to remove several products from its Chinese menu when the company found out that its supplier was using rotten meat.
The McDonald’s corporation, founded in 1940, is the world’s largest fast-food chain. It has more than 35,000 outlets in 119 countries. The annual revenue of McDonald’s exceeded $28 billion in 2013.
As of 2014, 424 of the chain’s branches operate in Russia. A poll conducted by the SuperJob research center showed 62 percent of Russian respondents would support the closure of all McDonald’s restaurants in Russia.