Cafe Society

Would you like a roach or rodent with your meal, sir? FDA finds those and more in airline catering company kitchens

Jesus. It's not horrible enough cruising at altitude with a full two inches of legroom, a middle seater with flatulence and seat belts slimed with Jell-O. Now FDA inspectors are unearthing everything from fruit flies and ants to live roaches and dead rodents in the country's airline catering companies.

And take a wild guess as to which facility you're most likely to get a side of stowaway listeria with your first-class ham and cheese on white? LSG Sky Chefs, the world's largest airline caterer, which just happens to reside right here in Denver.

Are you sick yet? You should be, after the investigative analysis just published in USA Today, in which the newspaper reveals two years of FDA inspection findings secured through the Freedom of Information Act.

The inspection reports, which included additional (disgusting) findings from caterers Gate Gourmet and Flying Dog Group, uncovered, among other violations, "food stored at improper temperatures, mold in a refrigerator and a pink, slimy substance dripping onto a conveyor for a pot-washing machine" at a Gate Gourmet facility in Honolulu, Hawaii. And inspectors who examined the Denver LSG Sky Chefs facility six months ago witnessed live and dead roaches "too numerous to count" in several areas of the kitchen.

Here's the silver lining: Because of pesky financial woes, airlines are now in the market of making us starve, and now, thanks to this, we're even happier to forgo those bags of pretzels and trays of gray matter when the alternative might be a little thing called botulism.

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Lori Midson
Contact: Lori Midson