A Russian lawmaker has requested an inquiry into the ingredients used by Baskin-Robbins, the world's largest ice cream chain, as Russia's face off with the West over Ukraine heats up and antipathy for U.S. fast food mounts among Russian officials.
Yevgeny Fyodorov, a State Duma deputy, has asked the Federal Consumer Protection Service to launch a probe into the quality of Baskin-Robbins products, Izvestia reported Tuesday.
"When it comes to global brands, normally the consumer a priori trusts the quality of these products … But in order to trust, one must all the same check. For example, who could think that serious violations would be found in the chain McDonald's?" Fyodorov told Izvestia.
McDonald's, the world's largest hamburger chain, is already being investigated by the consumer protection watchdog, which in late July reported "violations that put the product quality and safety of the entire McDonald's chain in doubt," according to news agency Interfax.
A new investigation by Russia's sanitary watchdog was soon opened into the cheese that McDonald's uses. Another State Duma deputy later asked the Federal Consumer Protection Service to organize inspections of rival fast food chain Burger King and fried chicken empire KFC, both based in the U.S.
Baskin-Robbins spokesman Mikhail Faynberg told Izvestia his company has never had any quality issues, and has even received certification to deliver ice cream direct to Russia's highest officials.
"We have been a supplier of the Moscow Kremlin since 2009, and for this we had to go through a gigantic number of quality inspections," Faynberg said.
Baskin-Robbins's connections are not only with Russia's political elite: U.S. President Barack Obama reportedly worked scooping ice cream at a Baskin-Robbins as a teenager.