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Russia Checks More McDonald's After Closing 3

Published: August 22, 2014 (Issue # 1825)



  • A man tries unsuccessfully to get into the McDonalds restaurant on Manezh Square in the center of Moscow.
    Photo: Pascal Dumont / SPT

MOSCOW Russia's food safety agency said Thursday that it was checking McDonald's restaurants around the country, a day after several branches of the chain were shuttered in Moscow.

The pressure on the American chain, which has 435 restaurants in Russia, comes at a time of heightened tensions over the fighting in eastern Ukraine.

After the United States and the European Union slapped sanctions on Russian state banks and major industries last month, Russia responded with a wide-ranging ban on food products imported from those countries.

Inspections took place or were planned in dozens of regions, Russian news agencies reported, quoting regional representatives of the federal regulatory agency, Rospotrebnadzor. It was unclear how many restaurants were affected, and whether any of them were closed down as a result.

On Wednesday, the agency ordered four Moscow restaurants to suspend operations, citing numerous violations of sanitary laws. McDonald's said only three of those restaurants were closed.

One of those restaurants, on Moscow's central Pushkin Square, was the first to open in the Soviet Union in 1990, drawing crowds of thousands that circled around the block. The restaurant became a symbol of reform and openness with the West, and today it is one of the company's most visited venues in Russia.

News reports on Russian state television, which plays a powerful role in shaping public opinion, included interviews with passers-by who offered their opinions on the unhealthiness of the restaurants' fast food and noted that Russia now has plenty of homegrown alternatives.

In a statement posted on the Russian version of its website Wednesday, the company said it was studying the regulatory agency's complaints to determine what needed to be done to reopen the restaurants as soon as possible. McDonald's 435 restaurants in Russia include 115 in Moscow, where some 12,000 people are employed.





 


ALL ABOUT TOWN

Friday, Oct. 31


Put your grammar and logical thinking to the test in a fun and friendly environment during the British Book Centers Board Game Evening starting at 5 p.m. today. The event is free and all are welcome to attend.



Saturday, Nov. 1


The men and women who dedicate their lives to fitness get their chance to compete for the title of best body in Russia at todays Grand Prix Fitness House PRO, the nations premier bodybuilding competition. Not only will men and women be competing for thousands of dollars in prizes and a trip to represent their nation at Mr. Olympia but sporting goods and nutritional supplements will also be available for sale. Learn more about the culture of the Indian subcontinent during Diwali, the annual festival of lights that will be celebrated in St. Petersburg this weekend at the Culture Palace on Tambovskaya Ul. For 100 rubles ($2.40), festival-goers listen to Indian music, try on traditional Indian outfits and sample dishes highlighting the culinary diversity of the billion-plus people in the South Asian superpower.



Sunday, Nov. 2


Check out the latest video and interactive games at the Gaming Festival at the Mayakovsky Library ending today. Meet with the developers of the popular and learn more about their work, or learn how to play one of their creations with the opportunity to ask the creators themselves about the exact rules.



Monday, Nov. 3


Non-athletes can get feed their need for competition without breaking a sweat at the Rock-Paper-Scissors tournament this evening at the Cube Bar at Lomonosova 1. Referees will judge the validity of each matchup award points to winners while the citys elite fight for the chance to be called the best of the best. Those hoping to play must arrange a team beforehand and pay 200 rubles ($4.80) to enter.



Tuesday, Nov. 4


Attend the premiere of Canadian director Xavier Dolans latest film Mommy at the Avrora theater this evening. The fifth picture from the 25-year-old, it is the story of an unruly teenager but the most alluring (or unappealing) aspect is the way the film was shot: in a 1:1 format that is more reminiscent of Instagram videos than cinematic art. Tickets cost 400 rubles ($9.60) and snacks and drinks will be available.



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