MOSCOW, June 25 (RIA Novosti) - Russia’s chief public health official has advised his fellow countrymen to stay healthy by foregoing the pleasures of exotic cuisine, such as sushi and hamburgers, and being more "patriotic" in their choice of food.
Speaking to journalists on Tuesday, Gennady Onishchenko, who heads Russia’s consumer rights watchdog, noted that Russians for the most part, eat “traditional” food “apart from "exotic exceptions such as McDonalds.”
Praising this "food patriotism," he singled out Japanese cuisine for particular scrutiny, apparently because of its use of raw and cured fish.
No additional public health inspections of the numerous sushi restaurants that have, since the 1990s, become a ubiquitous sight in Russia’s main cities, are planned this summer, he added.
"We continue to be vigilant about sushi-bars from a cultural point of view [...] but we are not instituting special measures to monitor them," he said.
This is not the first time that Onishchenko has warned Russians about the dangers of eating sushi and embarking on other "gastro-intestinal adventures."
Last June he issued a similar warning, saying "we are people with established traditions in food and must not be seduced by exotic types of food, a diet of raw food, particularly when it is not prepared by Japanese people," he said.