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12 McDonald's Closed in Russia

Carolina Sanchez

A passerby strolls by a closed McDonald's in Moscow.

source: Reuters/Alexander Demianchuk 

Times are tough for the golden arches in Russia. Twelve McDonald's restaurants have been temporarily closed in Russia and over 100 of the country's 440 McDonald's are under inspection.

The restaurant closures have come at a time of heightened turmoil with the increasing sanctions against Russia in lieu of the Ukraine conflict. Some see this as a move against US sanctions on Russia, but the Russian authorities claim it was due to sanitation reasons. Either way, McDonald's is not lovin' this.

“The Caesar roll and vegetable salad have been found to contain microbe pollution with E.Coli bacteria and 10 times the safe level of microbes,”the Russian food safety watchdog said in a statement in May.‘This attests to the fact that the staff breached personal hygiene rules, and the corporate sanitary disinfection regime.”

The Russian government is continuing its food safety tests.

Another potential government measure is the additional taxation of foreign fast food companies in Russia. That would include McDonald's, as well as Burger King, Subway, Starbuck's, Papa John's, and others. Igor Zotov, a Russian Duma State Official has proposed the bill which would increase taxes from 20% to 23%. The money earned would go towards improving the health of the population and would include money for health services, programs to create health groups, organization of sport activities, and healthy lifestyle promotion. This definitely is tied to the sanctions against Russia, and it is a political move by Russia to go after fast food companies, which are predominately from the USA.

A group of Russian deputies have also previously suggested putting warning labels on fast food, similar to the warning labels on tobacco products. That would certainly be an interesting move. It might get people to rethink their decisions, or at least plant a seed, but even if they put labels on the food, people who are going to eat that crap know it's not good for you. McDonald's is not trying to improve your health or sell food thats good for you. Even their salads have over 20 grams of fat! That's more than some of their burgers. They are not in the business of producing healthy food; they are in the business of making mone

The potential sanctions and recent closures of McDonald's are stirring up some controversy. There has been a decline in popularity from the opening of the first McDonald's in Russia to present-day. The golden arches might start to look a little rusty if the food safety concerns are not addressed soon. After all, who needs McDonald's when you have so many delicious healthy choices around? Check out my 

review of Fresh

, one of Moscow's best vegan restaurants, open since 1999 and now in 3 locations in Moscow.

One of the closed restaurants it the iconic Pushkinskaya Square, which opened in 1990 in the former USSR. Check out the video below for footage on the opening of the first McDonald's in Russia.