Russian state media say French supermarket chain fined $370,000 in Russia over food violations

Economic Indicators Associated Press

Russian state news agencies say French supermarket chain Auchan has been fined over $370,000 by Russian officials over alleged food safety violations.

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Anna Popova, head of Russian consumer protection agency Rospotrebnadzor, was quoted by media outlets including RIA Novosti as saying the fines totaled over 25 million rubles ($372,000) and that "several hundred" employees were suspended from work.

Specific reasons for the fines were not immediately clear and Auchan declined to comment.

Auchan is also the target of allegations from Russia's agricultural agency, which claims some Auchan meat products tested positive for bacteria such as E.Coli and listeria.

The inspections come at a time of tension between France and Russia over the extension of European Union sanctions and France's decision to cancel a deal to provide warships to Russia.