Enjoying ad-free content?
Since July 1, 2024, we have disabled all ads to improve your reading experience.
This commitment costs us $10,000 a month. Your support can help us fill the gap.
Support us
Our journalism is banned in Russia. We need your help to keep providing you with the truth.

All Moscow Shawarma Joints Violate Food Safety Regulations, Consumer Watchdog Says

Moskva News Agency

Russia's consumer protection watchdog Rospotrebnadzor said that it has found sanitary violations in all 252 shawarma shops that it inspected in Moscow.

Shawarma, a meat dish which originated in the Middle East, has become a popular Russian street food choice over the past decade. In 2016, Moscow residents launched an internet campaign in support of shawarma after rumors that city authorities were planning to ban its sale over safety concerns.

Rospotrebnadzor said in a statement Tuesday that it had conducted a city-wide inspection of 252 shawarma shops between June and October 2018 after “multiple customers complained of food poisoning after eating shawarma.”

“All of the inspected businesses were found to have violated legislation relating to the sanitary-epidemiological safety of the population and technical regulations,” the statement said.

The inspections found that 54 percent of all shawarma products had failed in bacteria tests, with 140 swabs of employees’ hands and equipment showing the presence of E. coli and staphylococcus bacteria.

Other violations related to food storage and safety, including the use of products beyond their expiration date, the absence of facilities for the washing of meat and vegetables and employees working without wearing disposable gloves or having the required documents about medical examinations and vaccinations.

Following the inspections, 112 shawarma shops were temporarily closed and 293 administrative violations were issued, including fines exceeding 5.9 million rubles ($90,000).

… we have a small favor to ask. As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just $2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.

paiment methods
Not ready to support today?
Remind me later.

Read more