It’s not that airline food has a great image to begin with. Now, workers at an airline food-prepping company at LAX are saying that the kitchens are straight-up filthy.
We’re talking insects and rodents crawling around the place, according to a report released this week by Unite Here!, a union that represents airline workers.
The group surveyed 60 employers who work in the two kitchens Flying Food Group operates at LAX.
These are companies that basically cook the packaged in-flight meals that get delivered to big-name airlines like Air France, British Airways and Qantas.
They are also tasked with washing the dishes and packing meals on carts that are then delivered to the trucks.
The survey contained some disturbing findings. More than 50 percent of the workers said they saw insects or rodents roaming around the kitchen.
An anonymous worker told the union that last year, a co-worker saw a cockroach in her salad from the cafeteria.
The worker also said they found mice, mosquitoes and other insects in the room where they work.
Other employees said the company used spoiled or dirty food in their meals.
Four workers said their managers told them to change the dates on the prepped food so it’s hard to tell the dates on which the meals were actually prepared.
Workers also said they had to sometimes clean the dishes by hand because the dishwashers were broken. Sometimes, they’d run out of dishwashing liquid. So they would just rinse it under hot water, workers reported.
The company has said the accusations are false and that they are merely a union strategy to disrupt business and spread misinformation.
So far, according to media reports, there haven’t been known reports or lawsuits involving airline passengers who fell sick as a result of eating these in-flight meals.
We don’t know if passengers are simply not reporting these illnesses.
It is important that these facilities are thoroughly and frequently inspected as they serve tens of thousands of passengers every day.
There are a number of issues to inspect.
Are the prepping areas clean? Is the kitchen sanitary? Are workers following food safety procedures such as storing food at proper temperatures or cooking food to the right temperatures?
If you have suffered food poisoning as a result of airline food, please remember that you still have rights. Report your illness to the airline and obtain a copy of the report.
Also, report your illness to the local health agency. Make sure you get prompt medical attention.
Contact an experienced Los Angeles personal injury lawyer who has successfully handled food poisoning cases.