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Retailer Strips Cheese From Shelves After Naked Milk Vat Photos

A young man brandishes his shorts with aplomb while sitting in a cheese factory milk vat.

The X5 retail group, Russia's second largest food retailer, has stopped selling stringed cheese made at a dairy factory in Omsk where staff members photographed themselves swimming in one of its milk vats during a New Year's party.

The Federal Consumer Protection Service inspected Torgovy Dom Syra, or Trading House of Cheese, in Omsk last week after the photographs appeared on the Internet.

The consumer watchdog closed the plant temporarily after uncovering serious breaches in hygiene rules and asked local prosecutors to open a criminal against the offenders. They face up to two years in jail if convicted of manufacturing goods that don't meet sanitary requirements.

Two varieties of stringed cheese produced at the disgraced factory were sold in X5-run stores in different regions in the Urals, but the tainted products have now been taken off the shelves, the retailer and owner of more than 4,500 stores said in a statement.

X5, which owns the Pyatyorochka and Perekryostok chains, said that it does not stock any other goods from Torgovy Dom Syra.

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