A catering company set to provide food for personnel working at this weekend's St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has been ordered to shut down temporarily by the Federal Consumer Protection Service.
The move came as a result of several people having fallen ill after eating salmon canapes at an event catered last week by the company, Karamel Keitering, consumer protection service spokeswoman Vera Izmailova told Izvestia.
Izmailova said the company's management had been notified of the order and that a court will decide whether to allow the firm to continue working while the agency conducts a check.
Karamel Keitering is 100 percent owned by the LenExpo exhibition center, where the forum is held, according to the Spark database, the daily said.
The company is slated to cater meals for those working at the forum, not for participants.
Karamel Keitering executive director Kirill Ziminov said he suspected foul play in the situation.
"Someone decided to do damage not only to our image but to the image of the forum," Ziminov told Izvestia. "We will prove our innocence through the courts and through the prosecutor's office. We will conduct an independent investigation."
"I have suspicions regarding the companies that could have done this," he said, without specifying which firms he had in mind.