Delta and American Airlines return to using catering company at LAX after listeria discovery

A food service worker loads food carts aboard an American Airlines flight to Orlando at Los Angeles International Airport. The airlines has returned to using Gate Gourmet, a catering company that was found to have listeria in its floor drain.
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Two of the world’s biggest airlines have resumed using a catering company that had been found to have listeria at its food preparation facility at Los Angeles International Airport.

About two months after cutting off some food service provided by Gate Gourmet at LAX, Delta Air Lines and American Airlines both announced they have resumed working with the Swiss-based caterer.

Virgin Australia also stopped using Gate Gourmet in November, but a representative for that airline could not be reached to provide an update on the business relationship.

“Food safety is our highest priority,” read a statement from Gate Group, the parent company of Gate Gourmet. “We reaffirm that our LAX facility is operating without restriction and continues to comply with all local and federal regulations as confirmed by independent food safety experts and agencies.”


A routine inspection in November uncovered traces of listeria in a floor drain at the catering company’s facility at LAX. Gate Gourmet would not disclose the names of all of the airlines it supplies at LAX.

American Airlines said it relied on a “third-party expert” to inspect the Gate Gourmet facility to ensure the safety of the facility. No cases of listeriosis were reported as a result of the contamination at Gate Gourmet, one of the world’s largest airline catering companies.

The federal government says about 1,600 people get sick and 260 others die from listeriosis each year. The listeria bacteria can cause dangerous complications for pregnant women, including miscarriages and stillbirths.


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