Fears contanimated food served on Virgin Blue flights

Source of Article:  http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25889147-12377,00.html

August 05, 2009

Article from:  Australian Associated Press

VIRGIN Blue says it is working with Queensland Health in relation to fears passengers may have been exposed to potentially deadly bacteria in chicken wraps.

The investigation is confined to a supply of chicken wraps the airline received from a manufacturer between May and June 2009, which may have contained a bacteria known as Listeria.

A Virgin Blue spokeswoman said it is believed that other southeast Queensland companies were also provided with the chicken wraps from the manufacturer.

She said the affected chicken wraps were supplied to customers on flights along the east coast of Australia, to New Zealand and Bali.

"It appears the likely source of the contamination was an ingredient supplied to the manufacturers of the wraps and not Virgin Blue or other companies who received the affected products," she said.

Virgin Blue removed the product from service at the end of June.

As a precautionary measure,  the airline is helping Queensland Health remind people of the risks associated with Listeria, including a 70-day incubation period during which someone who eats the contaminated food may become ill.

"While, it is uncommon and causes few symptoms, if any, in healthy people, Listeria can be potentially harmful to pregnant women and people with suppressed immunity," she said.

According to the Victorian Government website, Listeria has a fatality rate as high as 30 per cent amongst at-risk people, which include the elderly, pregnant women, babies and those with weakened immune systems.

The company says the investigation is ongoing.



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