The fast food restaurants that replaced McDonald’s in Russia after the American company left the country over the invasion of Ukraine have been serving up moldy hamburgers to their customers.
Diners who patronized “Vkusno & Tochka,” translated from Russian as “tasty and that’s it,” posted photos of the rotted food on social media.
The disturbing images show mold on hamburger buns. Other customers have reported finding insect legs in the meat patties, according to the Daily Mail.
Ksenia Sobchak, a Russian television personality and a leader of the political opposition to the Putin government, posted the images on her Telegram chat channel.
“Vkusno & Tochka sells moldy burgers,” Sobchak wrote.
“It looks like they don’t quite honor the standards of McDonald’s, at least in terms of product quality control. Today at least three cases were recorded of burgers with moldy buns sold to customers.”
When McDonald’s sold its 700 eateries to the operators of “Vkusno & Tochka,” the new chain’s top executives promised that customers would get a better dining experience.
Oleg Paroev, who was CEO of McDonald’s Russia before becoming the new top executive at the rebranded outfit, claimed that the chain sold a record 120,000 burgers on its opening day June 12.
But judging by the reaction on social media, Russian consumers are chafing at the sight of these unhappy meals. Some have even complained about lack of cheese in the cheeseburgers that are offered.
Others reportedly said that the cheese sauce they were served was past its expiration date.
“I don’t think it’s OK when you find mold,” one customer wrote on Telegram.
Another patron responded: “Figure it out, guys, you don’t need to poison people.”
Earlier this year, McDonald’s exited Russia over the country’s invasion of Ukraine, but it retains the right to buy back the business after 15 years.
The Golden Arches debuted in Moscow more than 30 years ago — just after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The new chain is barred by trademark laws to sell Big Macs or McFlurry’s, but it still has access to many of the same ingredients used to make the signature menu items.
“The fact [the Big Mac] has now gone from the menu does not help us,” Paroev told Reuters.
“Our guests will get used to the new name and understand that they are no longer at a ‘Mac’, but at a ‘tochka’.”