Ants! Flies! Roaches, both dead and living! Rodents of all shapes and sizes! No, this isn't the petting zoo of the damned, it's what the FDA has been finding in airline catering company kitchens and warehouses! According to a USA Today analysis of FDA inspection reports spanning the past two years, ever since airlines stopped serving food to the peasants in coach, they've gotten pretty lax in the sanitation department.
The inspection reports cover major airline catering companies LSG Sky Chefs and Gate Gourmet, as well as a smaller company, Flying Food Group. In addition to finding all manner of critter in the plants where the food was prepared, inspectors found food stored at dangerous temperatures. Lab reports later found listeria (LSG Sky Chefs), coliform (Gate Gourmet), and conditions that lead to botulism (Sky Chefs, again).
There is some good news! Cutbacks in airline food offerings means companies have fewer opportunities to get their creepy crawlies in your food. So, no, they don't serve peanuts on flights any more, but it seems a small price to pay for arriving to your destination without bacterial stowaways. Quit complaining.
LSG Sky Chefs loading food onto a plane. [Photo: Manager Magazin]