Channel NewsAsia

McDonald's under fire in Russia over 'quality' concerns

Russia's consumer watchdog announced that it was suing American food chain McDonald's for quality violations and improper labelling of its food items.

MOSCOW: Russia's consumer watchdog announced on Friday (25 July) that it was suing American food chain McDonald's for quality violations and improper labelling of its food items.

"We found violations that make us doubt the quality and safety of food products in the entire McDonald's chain," a spokeswoman for Rospotrebnadzor consumer watchdog said, Interfax reported.

The legal action was being taken as the United States upped sanctions on Russia over its backing of rebels in Ukraine. It also coincided with McDonald's saying its Japanese outlets had stopped selling products with chicken sourced from China after a scandal erupted over expired meat being used.

The Russian watchdog said it found violations in two McDonald's locations in the town of Novgorod north of Moscow. It filed a lawsuit over alleged improper labelling of the food items' calorie contents, among other things.

"The products did not conform to standards of safety or food value," Rospotrebnadzor spokeswoman Anna Popova was quoted as saying. "They were quite far from the norms established today."

The lawsuit has been filed in hopes of "banning the production and sale of products that do not meet the criteria," she said.

McDonald's said in a statement on its Russia website that it had not received any information about the lawsuit.

"The company calculates food and energy values of the products based on the methods approved by the food institute of the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences," it said.

McDonald's has operated in Russia since January 1990 and has 430 locations throughout the country. The chain shut its outlets on the Crimean peninsula after Moscow annexed it from Ukraine in March.

Tweet photos, videos and updates on this story to  @channelnewsasia