Listeria found at catering facility for Los Angeles airport

American Airlines has suspended use of a caterer at Los Angeles International Airport after listeria was found in the caterer's facility, but Delta Air Lines continues to get meals from the kitchen.

A spokeswoman for Atlanta-based Delta said Thursday that the kitchen operated by Gate Gourmet complies with local and federal regulations.

The catering company said it serves other airlines at the airport but won't identify them. No other airlines have announced that they are stopping service from the Gate Gourmet facility.

A Gate Gourmet spokeswoman said that listeria was found in floor drains but not on food-preparation surfaces. She said the kitchen was treated and remains open and continues to serve other airlines.

A spokesman for Fort Worth-based American said the airline decided to stop taking food from the Los Angeles kitchen because of concern over progress in Gate Gourmet's plan to correct the listeria problem. He said the airline is not aware of contamination at any other Gate Gourmet facilities.

Both American and Delta said they have not received any reports of passengers becoming ill from food from the Los Angeles facility.

Listeria is a bacteria that can cause fever and diarrhea, and more dangerous complications in pregnant women, including miscarriages and stillbirths. About 1,600 people are sickened by listeria each year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Gate Gourmet's parent company is controlled by Chinese conglomerate HNA Group, which paid $1.5 billion for the Swiss company last year.


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