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17/11/17: Virgin Australia drops LA caterer over listeria scare

P36803c2093f2f72a56d5b7c128e7a526assengers on Virgin Australia flights out of Los Angeles are being given food vouchers after its LA-based caterer found deadly listeria in its kitchen.

VIRGIN Australia has temporarily stopped serving food from its Los Angeles-based caterer after a bacteria associated with miscarriages and stillbirths was found.

The Australian carrier, along with US airlines Delta and American, has suspended the use of food from Gate Gourmet, at Los Angeles International Airport, after the bacteria listeria was found in a non-food preparartion area of the caterer’s kitchen at the airport.

Virgin Australia passengers are being given vouchers for food before they board their flights at LAX as the airline makes other catering arrangements.

Gate Gourmet said it discovered the listeria during a routine inspection but no cases of listeriosis had been reported.

Delta said it found another caterer to provide hot food but still got cheese and fruit plates and wraps that were prepared in another part of the Gate Gourmet facility, Associated Press reported.

Delta spokeswoman Catherine Sirna said the airline temporarily changed caterers so Gate Gourmet could improve food safety.

Gate Gourmet spokeswoman Catherine Nugent said the listeria was not found on food-contact surfaces.

She said the company launched a cleaning program and the LAX kitchen met all local and US food-safety regulations.

Listeria can cause dangerous complications for pregnant women, including miscarriages and stillbirths.