You likely don’t need another reason to avoid airplane food, but here’s one anyway:
A week and a half after American Airlines announced it would temporarily stop using Gate Gourmet for its catering out of Los Angeles’s LAX airport, Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia have followed suit. The suspensions come after a recent inspection found listeria in a Gate Gourmet facility, though the bacteria was not found in an area used for food preparation.
The Gate Gourmet facility at LAX is still operating and available to provide meals to other airlines. A Delta spokesperson told CNBC that the facility is in compliance with local and federal safety laws, and that the airline stopped serving its food due to an “abundance of caution” for its passengers. American, meanwhile, expressed concern over the facility’s efforts to get rid of the bacteria.
Listeria was also recently found at the facilities of Journey Cuisine, a Denver-based food manufacturer that caters to United Airlines. According to United, none of its food was found to be contaminated, though it is now using alternative suppliers.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says listeriosis, which is caused by the bacteria, is the third most deadly form of food poisoning, with 1,600 infections and 260 deaths per year in the U.S. While no one has been reported sick yet, it can take up to 70 days after exposure for symptoms of listeriosis to emerge.