Monday, July 16, 2018

X5 Retail Group removes string cheese products from shelves after health violations

The X5 Retail Group, Russia's second largest food retailer, has temporarily stopped the sale of its top-selling string cheese after discovering photographs of its dairy factory staff members swimming in its milk vats during a New Years party.

The Federal Consumer Protection Service has launched an investigation into the factory - Trading House of Cheese in Omsk - after the photographs appeared on the internet last week. The photographs depict four young men, one of whom appears to be entirely naked, sitting together in a vat of milk at the Omsk facility where the string cheese products are made, the Moscow Times reports.

The Trading House of Cheese has since been closed after the consumer watchdog organization discovered additional breaches in hygiene. Local prosecutors have begun preliminary investigations into the factory's management staff, each of whom face up to two years in jail if convicted of willfully distributing food products that aren't in compliance with sanitary regulations.

In total, two varieties of X5 Retail Group-produced string cheeses have been pulled from the shelves of at least 4,500 Ural area grocery stores. Health officials are investigating the whether further X5 Retail Group goods need to be suspended from sale, according to the Moscow Times.