Airline Food Could Pose A Threat

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(photo courtesy Leon Hammack)

The FDA finds food safety issues at airline caterers!

The inspections were at U.S. facilities of two of the world’s biggest airline caterers, LSG Sky Chefs, Gate Gourmet, and another large caterer, Flying Food Group.

The USA Today reported that the FDA found live cockroaches and dead cockroach carcasses “too numerous to count” inside the facility of the world’s largest airline caterer, LSG Sky Chefs, at Denver, CO.

They also cited a report finding  ants, flies, debris, and employees handling food with their bare hands.  Samples from a kitchen floor tested positive for Listeria, a bacteria that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, the elderly and people with weakened immune systems.  It is also extremely dangerous to pregnant women.

LSG Sky Chefs, which annually prepares over 405 million meals to over 300 airlines worldwide, says the conditions at the Denver facility did not meet company standards.  It took immediate actions to correct the condition, says company spokesperson Beth Van Duyne.

The three caterers operate 91 kitchens that provide more meals than all others to U.S. and foreign airlines at U.S. airports. They provide meals for nearly all big airlines, including Delta, American, United, US Airways, and Continental.

The FDA reports say many facilities store food at improper temperatures, use unclean equipment and employ workers who practice poor hygiene. At some, there were cockroaches, flies, mice and other signs of inadequate pest control.

“In spite of best efforts by the FDA and industry, the situation with in-flight catered foods is disturbing, getting worse and now poses a real risk of illness and injury to tens of thousands of airline passengers on a daily basis,” says Roy Costa, a consultant and public health sanitarian.

Conditions open the door to food-poisoning outbreaks, says Costa, a former Florida state food inspector who volunteered to review the FDA reports obtained by USA TODAY.

So all you experienced travelers, you should pay heed to that “food” that is put before you on your next airline flight.  You never know what has been lurking in that plate, sleeping on the plate or “conducting business” on that plate!  Likewise, you never really know just what that entree really is!  Could it be “caterer roadkill”, or could your meal be seasoned with other interesting unclean rodent material?

Is this the results of the airlines “cost-cutting measures”?  What are your thoughts?

For me, your Captain, I can only say that for quite some time I have been refusing to eat anything that is from the airline caterers!  I see what the quality of workers are, how they handle their products. 

For me I steer clear, just give me a diet coke, please!

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