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Airplane food, now with hidden needles: Delta's sandwich situation

delta food drink tray table napkin

Photo by Nathan Cooke via Flickr Creative Commons

Nothing brings down the mood quite like finding a needle in a sandwich on a flight out of Amsterdam.

Delta Air Lines Inc. and the FBI are trying to determine Monday how what appeared to be sewing needles found their way into half a dozen turkey sandwiches served aboard four flights from Amsterdam on Sunday.

One passenger was injured, but declined medical attention on a flight to Minneapolis. According to Delta spokeswoman Kristin Baur, the other needles were on two flights to Atlanta and one to Seattle.

A criminal investigation has been opened by the FBI's Atlanta office, the agency said in a written statement. Meal security, in the meantime, has been increased, with additional prepackaged food items being put into service.

"Delta is taking this matter extremely seriously and is cooperating with local and federal authorities who are investigating the incident. Delta has taken immediate action with our in-flight caterer at Amsterdam to ensure the safety and quality of the food we provide onboard our aircraft," the airline said in a written statement.

"We take this matter very seriously, and we have launched our own full-scale investigation," said Gate Gourmet, the catering company that prepared the meals. The company said it was "heightening our already stringent safety and security procedures, to prevent any recurrence."

Gate Gourmet, self-described as "the world’s largest independent provider of catering and provisioning services for airlines," services 9700 flights per day, according to their website. The company has not received reports of similar incidents on any of the other airlines it services out of Amsterdam, said spokeswoman Christina Ulosevich.

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