Gate Gourmet FDA rating downgraded in KY

Written by: Felicity Stredder |
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The classification of Gate Gourmet’s airline catering facility in Erlanger, Kentucky, has been downgraded from “approved” to “provisional” by the US Food and Drug Administration following inspections at the end of last year.

During the FDA’s inspections of the Kentucky facility on November 29 and December 1, the FDA noted issues of noncompliance with the Current Good Manufacturing Practice, Hazard Analysis, and Risk-Based Preventive Controls for Human Food regulation, according to a letter from Steven Barber, Director, Division V of the Office of Human and Animal Foods Operations-East to General Manager, Gary Reeves.

The caterer’s significant violations fell in four main areas: failure to exclude pests; failure to keep equipment in an adequate condition through cleaning; failure to clean all food contact surfaces, including utensils; and inadequate sanitary facilities.

The inspections found evidence of live cockroach activity around ovens, stoves, sinks and dishwashing equipment, in addition to other areas. Dead insects and insect faeces were also identified, while old food residue and filth was observed on non-food contact areas of cooking equipment, such as ranges and deep fat fryers, as well as on floors, walls and legs of equipment.

As a consequence of the findings, food products held at the facility were considered “adulterated” because they were “prepared, packed, or held under insanitary conditions whereby they may have become contaminated with filth or rendered injurious to health.”

Under the “provisional" classification, the caterer may continue to operate; however, significant improvements of observed violations must be made prior to the next inspection in approximately 30 calendar days. If significant corrections are not made in this time, the FDA will reclassify the Gate Gourmet facility as "Non-Approved".

This latest development follows the discovery in November 2017 of listeria in Gate Gourmet’s kitchen at Los Angeles airport, when several airlines, including American, Delta and Virgin Australia suspended their use of the air catering service until the problem was resolved.

Read the full warning letter here.

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