Needles found in US airplane food
Passengers on four separate flights found sewing needles in their turkey sandwiches, prompting an FBI investigation with the food manufacturer
The FBI, Dutch cops and Delta Air Lines are still trying to find out how needles got into turkey sandwiches on flights from Amsterdam to the United States.
Sewing needles were found in food on four US-bound flights that left on Sunday from Amsterdam, injuring one passenger, Delta said.
The needles were found in sandwiches made by the airline’s Amsterdam caterer, Gate Gourmet, according to Delta spokeswoman Chris Kelly.
The FBI and cops in the Netherlands are leading the probe, Delta said.
FBI Special Agent Stephen Emmett in Atlanta confirmed yesterday that the agency is investigating but declined to comment further.
What’s in the food
Jim Tonjes of Plymouth, Minnesota, said he bit on a one-inch needle, which punctured the roof of his mouth. “I figured it might be a toothpick,” he said. “It looked like a sewing needle but without an eye. ... I was in shock. I thought, ‘Oh, my God.’ It’s the last thing you expect in a sandwich.”
Jack Drogt, a 55-year-old surgeon, was returning from the Netherlands when he made a dangerous discovery in his meal.
“I took a few bites, and on the third bite, I hit something hard,” Drogt said. “I thought it was a bone and pulled it out. It was a pin about an inch long, sharp on both ends. I called the stewardess over and informed her. She was appropriately surprised and immediately said, ‘That’s funny — a guy on the other side of the plane just had the same thing happen’.”
Delta promised to get to the bottom of this scary episode.
“Delta is taking this matter extremely seriously and is cooperating with local and federal authorities who are investigating the incident,” the airline said in a statement.
“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.”
A suspected sewing needle was also found in a sandwich by a passenger on an Atlanta-bound flight. A US air marshal found another while flying on another Atlanta-bound flight.
Another apparent needle was found aboard a Seattle-bound flight in a sandwich that had not been served.
Gate Gourmet is a subsidiary of Swiss-based gategroup Holding AG, one of the largest independent global providers of airline passenger products and services.
Christina Ulosevich, a gategroup spokeswoman, said the caterer was cooperating fully with investigators. She declined to comment further, saying “details of this matter must remain confidential.”