Airplane food caterers cited for health violations

After finding critical health violations at airport restaurants last year, USA Today reporters are at it again. This time, Gary Stoller has reviewed FDA documents that show violations by the catering companies that prepare the food served on the planes themselves.

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Photo by Mr. Mystery via Flickr

According to Stoller, “the inspections were at U.S. facilities of two of the world’s biggest airline caterers, LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet, and another large caterer, Flying Food Group.” Between them, they provide 100 million meals to U.S. air travelers each year and run 91 separate kitchens.

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.

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