Two airlines have recently stopped using Gate Gourmet a caterer that works out of L.A.’s International Airport, when it comes to their hot meals. The caterer-drop occurred after listeria was discovered in the kitchen where the Gate Gourmet is located at.
The Trip City Herald reported that Virgin Australia and Delta Air Lines have refrained from serving hot meals from the caterer, with Virgin Australian offering customers food vouchers prior to the LAX flights. The airline has stated it will be doing this in the meantime, as they look for other catering options.
Delta has stated that is will still get its fruit and cheese plates from the caterer, as well as the wraps, which are made from another facility of the LAX Gate Gourmet; however, they will be receiving their hot meals from a California Gate Gourmet kitchen. Catherine Sirna, Delta spokesperson, stated that the air carrier changed caterers temporarily to allow LAX’s Gate Gourmet a chance to aggressively improve their food safety standards.
Two weeks ago, American Airlines suspended their partnership from LAX’s Gate Gourmet as well.
Catherine Nugent, Gate Gourmet spokesperson has stated that listeria was not discovered on surfaces where food had contact. Still, she added that Gate Gourmet has a cleaning program launched in place and that their LAX location does meet federal and local food-safety standards.
However, the actions both airlines took in suspending hot meal service from the caterer seems very justified, considering the severe repercussions that listeria can bring to their customers.
The United States federal government has stated that approximately 1,600 individuals are struck with illness due to listeria on an annual basis. Additionally, the bacteria can create devastating complications for those women who are pregnant, which includes stillbirths and miscarriages.
It’s always smart to error on the side of caution and hopefully Gate Gourmet will rid themselves of this listeria issue and move on from this.