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Russia Fines Burger King, Auchan Over Alleged Food Safety Issues

Russian state news agencies say government officials have issued $600,000 in fines for alleged food safety violations at Burger King and French supermarket chain Auchan.

Anna Popova, head of Russian consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor, said Auchan's fines totaled over $372,000 and "several hundred" employees were suspended from work.

Auchan is also the target of allegations from Russia's agricultural agency, which claims some Auchan meat products tested positive for bacteria such as E.Coli and listeria. The allegations have reportedly led Auchan to close down some facilities for cleaning.

The inspections come at a time of tension between France and Russia over the extension of European Union sanctions.

Meanwhile, the agency said it issued $230,000 in fines over alleged violations at 78 Burger King restaurants.

The agency's website detailed a myriad of violations, from the presence of E.Coli bacteria to poor ventilation and improper food labeling.

Last year, amid tensions with the U.S. over sanctions, the agency launched snap inspections of McDonald's restaurants and briefly closed the company's flagship restaurant in Moscow over alleged breaches of sanitary laws.

Based on reporting by dpa and Reuters