FDA report claims airline food could pose major health hazard

An inspection report by the Food and Drug Administration has uncovered some pretty disgusting finds after visits to airline catering kitchens. The inspections took place at U.S. kitchens of Gate Gourmet, LSG Skychefs and Flying Food Group. These three make up the majority of aviation catering.

During the visits, FDA inspectors found food stored at unsafe temperatures, unclean equipment, poor employee hygiene, flies, live roaches and other pests.

A public sanitation consultant hired by USA Today went over the findings, and had the following to say:

“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.”

Naturally, when presented with the results, the three catering firms pledged to take matters “very seriously”, but the fact remains that this is not the first time hygiene and sanitation has been an issue with airline catering. One catering facility has failed to meet FDA standards for the past two years – with floors testing positive for listeria along with ants, flies and other pests.

Even though many domestic airlines stopped feeding passengers in coach, business and first class passengers still get fresh meals, and you’ll also be fed on long haul domestic and international flights. Sooner or later an entire plane full of passengers is going to become violently ill, which is probably the only way the filthy kitchens will really be “taken seriously.”

What are your thoughts? Take the survey!


[Image from: AFP/Getty Images]

Chicago airport food FAIL – and what’s safe to eat

If you or your loved ones are traveling for the holidays and those travels take you through either of Chicago’s airports, you need to read this.

If you thought airport food was gross before, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet. At Midway airport in Chicago, an investigator recently found toxic black mold in the ice being served, and there was rat hair in a sandwich at O’Hare.

The big offenders:
Lalo’s – repeatedly stores their meat at unsafe temperatures, and the drinking water may be tainted.
Luigi Stefani’s – where they found the black mold, as well as unsafe sandwiches. Luigi Stefani’s failed health inspections in 2005 and 2006.
Reggio’s Pizza Express – failed three inspections since 2007 for various violations including the coolers not working.
The Doghouse – meat and cheese at unsafe temperatures.
Chili’s – failed four inspections in the last three years and is suspected of giving multiple travelers E. coli.
Manchu Wok – two failures since 2006.
Wolfgang Puck – two cooks with open sores on their hands.

Even Gate Gourmet, who makes the airplane food, has repeatedly failed inspections due to insects, rodents, and unsafe temperatures. There’s a lot of hot meat in Chicago.

Basically? If you have to eat something on the plane or at the airport, choose prepackaged items that could not be made toxic by being stored at an unsafe temperature, and stick to bottled water.

Be careful, because getting sick could ruin your trip.

[via cbs2chicago]