Moscow: Vladimir Putin is so paranoid about being poisoned that he has his every meal tested by qualified food tasters, a former chef of the Russian president has claimed.

The 59-year-old Putin has all of his dishes inspected by a medically-qualified professional sampler, who makes sure that it is completely safe to eat, says Gilles Bragard, founder of an elite group of chefs who cook for the world’s most powerful men and women.

“Tasters still exist but only in the Kremlin, where a doctor checks every dish with the chef,” Bragard was quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.

Bragard also said American presidents often liked their food “security cleared” before eating.

George Bush had two former FBI agents taste all of his dishes during a trip to London, the chef said.

He said American leaders are “particularly suspicious” of non-US food.

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton reportedly got rid of a French chef when she arrived at the White House because she found his cuisine “too rich”.

London-based chef Anton Mosimann, who has cooked for many British prime ministers, said Margaret Thatcher was concerned about cost, and once questioned the price of a veal steak and morille mushrooms offered to former French president Francois Mitterrand.

Thatcher congratulated Mosimann on the quality of the dish, but said it was “very expensive”.

According to the daily, US President Barack Obama hates beetroot while his French counterpart Francois Hollande hates artichokes.

Bragard said both Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel like cheese, while Obama and his wife Michelle like most fruits and vegetables.