Rosselkhodnadzor Sues Cherkizovo over Salmonella in Poultry Products

Russia’s agricultural watchdog said on Wednesday it had filed a lawsuit against meat firm Cherkizovo, one of the country’s top producers of poultry and pork, over safety violations, Prime news agency reported.

Rosselkhoznadzor, the country’s food safety regulator, said it had asked the court to halt sales of products made by one of Cherkizovo’s poultry units, citing the detection of Salmonella and listeria bacteria.

The regulator also asked the court to order a halt to production at the facility involved for up to 90 days, or require it to pay a fine of up to 1 million rubles ($15,000).

On Thursday, Cherkizovo said it had found no evidence of safety violations at one of its units which the regulator said was unsafe and should be temporarily shut down.  

The company said that its own specialists had found no violations of safety standards when they carried out an inspection on Wednesday.

“According to the information on the regulator’s website, the product samples were picked up in retail stores. Therefore, it’s necessary to take into account the transport conditions and storage temperatures at the stores,” the company said in a statement.

Cherkizovo is the largest vertically integrated meat producer in Russia. American investment bank JP Morgan Chase is a major shareholder in the company, owning around 32% of the shares.