FDA inspectors found kitchens of three major airline caterers were unsanitary and could cause illness for passengers, USA today reported.
LSG Sky Chefs, Gate Gourmet and Flying Food Group operate 91 kitchens and supply U.S. and foreign airlines at U.S. airports with over 100 million meals every year. They serve many of the major airlines, including Delta, American, US Airways and Continental.
The reports, based on inspection from this year and last, found that some kitchens had cockroaches, flies and mice. Many had employees with poor hygiene, used unclean equipment and stored food at improper temperatures.
“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.
All of the catering companies and airlines claim they have quality-control standards.
Costa, a former food inspector, warned that food-poisoning outbreaks could become a problem under these conditions.