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Virgin Australia Unclear About Relationship with Listeria-Scare Food Provider

Carrier refuses to confirm or deny if Gate Gourmet is providing food options for flights.

Virgin Australia is finding their food choices under new scrutiny, after they refused to say if a caterer previously found with listeria is preparing their meals. Australia’s 9News reports the carrier wouldn’t say if they are continuing their relationship with Gate Gourmet out of Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

In November 2017, TheStreet reported Gate Gourmet experienced an outbreak of the listeria bacteria at their LAX facility. Although the bacteria was only found in a drain but not on food service surfaces, Virgin Australia was one of three airlines to halt their catering with the service provider – the other two were American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

Since then, Gate Gourmet has announced their kitchen is properly treated and have resumed production for aircraft meals. However, neither Gate Gourmet nor Virgin Australia has announced if they are resuming their catering relationship.

When asked by 9News about their catering company of choice, Virgin Australia refused to name the company. Instead, they issued a statement saying they were “satisfied with the standards of our on-board catering company at Los Angeles.” Gate Gourmet has not said if they were still contracting to Virgin Australia.

After the outbreak, flyers have expressed their concerns about the catering options presented by Virgin Australia for long-haul flights. While they previously received a food voucher prior to flying due to limited catering options, some say their current options are cold foods including breakfast cereals and canned tuna – which they find unacceptable for the long flight.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

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