2 airlines drop hot food from LAX caterer hit by listeria
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LOS ANGELES — Delta Air Lines and Virgin Australia have stopped serving hot meals from Gate Gourmet at Los Angeles International Airport after listeria was found in the caterer's local kitchen.
Virgin Australia is giving passengers vouchers for food before their LAX flights and says that onboard food won't be up to normal standards while it looks for other catering arrangements.
Delta says it still gets cheese and fruit plates and wraps that are prepared in another part of the LAX Gate Gourmet facility but is getting hot meals from another Gate Gourmet facility in California. Delta spokeswoman Catherine Sirna said Tuesday the airline temporarily changed caterers so Gate Gourmet can be more aggressive in improving food safety.
American Airlines suspended service from Gate Gourmet at LAX two weeks ago.
Gate Gourmet spokeswoman Catherine Nugent says the listeria was not found on food-contact surfaces. She says the company launched a cleaning program and the LAX kitchen meets all local and federal food-safety regulations.
The federal government says about 1,600 people get sick from listeria each year. The bacteria can cause dangerous complications for pregnant women, including miscarriages and stillbirths.
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