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Denver Airport Receives Warning For 'Roaches Too Numerous To Count'

January 6, 2010 at 3:53 PM | by | ()

Every big airport has a series of kitchens where food is prepared for the major airlines. At Denver International Airport, those kitchens are currently operated by German company LSG Sky Chefs. How much longer the company will have their contract is an open question, since apparently their Denver facilities are roughly as hygienic as an unrefrigerated Calcutta food truck in the middle of summer flooded with stagnant monsoon water from two years before.

The controversy began when the FDA, after an inspection of the kitchens, sent a warning letter to LSG Sky Chefs. That letter outlined a diversity of health code violations, going on for about 15 paragraphs and stretching over 1,000 words. That's four to six blog posts worth of disgusting disgustingness, all describing food that literally millions of people have consumed.

The full report is like a cornucopia of gross, from live insects to dead roaches to the thin sheet of bacteria that covers most of the kitchen. We really can't do much better than the dripping horror of the Associated Press writeup, where Airlines Writer David Koenig simply couldn't contain his nausea. It's rare that you get an article where the phrases "40 live insects," "roaches 'too numerous to count,'" and "walls that could house insects or vermin" are all included. And yet here it is:

Inspectors who examined the Denver facility found live and dead roaches 'too numerous to count' in several areas of the kitchen, including at least 40 live insects in the silverware station... inspectors saw employees touching food with bare hands... [and] problems with the building, including water dripping from the ceiling into utensil-cleaning areas and holes in walls that could house insects or vermin... When chemical treatments failed to kill listeria found in a kitchen floor drain, the company replaced the pipes and drain, she said. Listeria is a bacteria linked to food-borne illness.

That little bit about listeria becomes a lot more significant when you check out the full FDA report. Apparently they took swabs across the kitchen and no less than three samples turned out positive for the bacteria. Three—it turns out—is a lot more than zero, which is the amount of listeria you want in your kitchen. The report is also entertaining in other ways. There's an entire section detailing where the FDA found live and dead roaches, the effect of which will make you want to never travel to, from, or through Denver.

Except odds are you've already flown through DEN, which means you've probably eaten food from that kitchen. Happy Wednesday!

[Photo: Jokeee / Wiki Commons]

Related Stories:
· US finds roaches, listeria at airline caterer [AP]
· Airports Coverage [Jaunted]
· DEN Coverage [Jaunted]

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