Listeria scare in the air: American Airlines dumps caterer in food danger

Potentially unsafe listeria was discovered at a catering facility run by Gate Gourmet which is used by the airline.

"Although we use Gate Gourmet as a caterer in other locations, we now do not have any information that suggests that listeria has been detected at any other facility". Even so, American Airlines spokeswoman Katie Cody said, "Out of an abundance of caution, we made the decision because we felt it was the right thing to do".

American Airlines officials at Los Angeles International Airport said Thursday that the airline has ceased using the local services of one of its caterers after traces of listeria were found at its facility. However, traces of the bacteria were detected on surfaces that do not come into contact with food, such as drains, the airline said. It most affects pregnant women, newborns and older adults. About 1,600 people are diagnosed with listeria annually in the United States.

CNBC, however, is reporting that the same food service facility where listeria was discovered - Gate Gourmet - is still being used by Delta Air Lines. A Gate Gourmet spokesperson told online news source The Street, who broke the news of the listeria, that American Airlines is the only carrier to halt deliveries from LA so far.

American Airlines says listeria was found at a catering company that services airlines operating out of LAX. Gate Gourmet said that, following the discovery, its kitchen was "immediately and aggressively treated". Food and passenger safety are our highest priorities. We reaffirm our commitment to food safety and the safety of the travelling public. American is reportedly "scrambl [ing] to find alternatives", but travelers may need a creative plan to stave off in-flight hunger pangs - like loading their coffee up with extra, extra sugar and cream - because the airline warns that it could take ten days to fix the problem. "Our unit is open for business and we continue to cater our other customers".

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