The majority of red caviar sold in Russian food stores does not comply with basic hygiene regulations, the TASS news agency reported Monday.
Experts from Russian standards watchdog Roskachestvo found that 13 out of 23 samples inspected were produced in conditions that did not conform to sanitary regulations, said deputy Chairman of Roskachestvo Yekaterina Saratseva. Bacteria linked to E-Coli was detected in five of the samples.
Saratseva said that the presence of bacteria was evidence of hygiene issues in the caviar production sector and could be caused by even a minor mistake.
"The modern Russian market of salmon caviar is very complicated and problematic,” the study reported. “Half of caviar sold by retail outlets is unsafe and some contain pathogens of colon bacillus, staphylococcus aureus and yeast."
The document also notes that a high yeast content can spoil the caviar's flavor, lead the caviar tin to explode, and have a negative impact on the digestive system.