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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Seeks Quality-Control Assurances

Russian sanitary authorities Wednesday told Coca-Cola Co. to provide guarantees that its products sold in Russia are safe amid a health scare in Europe.

Belgium, the Netherlands, France and Luxembourg banned Coke products Monday and Tuesday after about several children were hospitalized with nausea after drinking Coca-Cola.

Anatoly Monisov, head of the Health Ministry's sanitary and epidemiological department, said in a telephone interview that his agency has required the company to confirm that its beverages marketed in Russia are safe.

If Coca-Cola fails to give a confirmation "we will suspend production pending the completion of tests," he said.

Coca-Cola's Moscow spokesman, Alexander Chernov, said the company was preparing a letter to the Health Ministry guaranteeing that its products f which are all produced at Coke's 12 Russian plants f are safe.

The root of the European scare has been linked to cans produced at plants in Antwerp, Belgium, and Dunkirk, France. No components from those facilities have been brought into Russia, Chernov said.

Coca-Cola is ready to have its Russian plants inspected at any time, he said.

No cases of illnesses from Coca-Cola soft drinks in Russia have been reported, and Russia is not asking Coke to recall any of its products, as the company has had to do in the four European countries this week, officials said.