Russia’s food safety regulator, Rospotrebnadzor, has ordered the temporary shutdown of a McDonald’s fast-food outlet in Yekaterinburg in the Urals region.
It is the fifth such closure in recent weeks the company said. The others were three McDonald’s in Moscow and one in the southern city of Stavropol.
The official reason given for the closures is “hygiene violations”, but the nationwide stepped-up scrutiny of the chain by state health inspectors comes against the backdrop of a standoff with the West over the Ukraine crisis.
McDonald’s – a symbol of US capitalism – operates 440 restaurants in Russia and considers the country to be as one of its top markets.
Just days before this latest closure Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich was quoted as saying Russian authorities are not planning to close the McDonald’s chain in the country.
Rospotrebnadzor has made coordinated inspections of McDonald’s restaurants in many Russian regions, including in central Russia, Moscow and the Urals.
“It has just happened that the inspections were completed at the same time,” Dvorkovich said, according to the report.