FDA Sent Catering Company Warning Letter
POSTED: 11:10 am CDT May 20, 2005
UPDATED: 11:24 am CDT May 20, 2005
HONOLULU — Contaminated carrots served over three days on flights out of Honolulu were likely at the root of 45 cases of food poisoning across 22 states, Japan, Australia and American Samoa, state epidemiologist Paul Effler said Thursday.
A lawsuit was filed Thursday in state Circuit Court in Honolulu against the caterer, Gate Gourmet, which served the carrots.
According to the lawsuit, Ernie Lyon of Orlando, Fla., became ill with symptoms including nausea, diarrhea, fever and tremors three days after a Northwest Airlines flight from Honolulu to Minneapolis on August 22.
A stool sample taken from Lyon on a visit to an emergency room tested positive for Shigella sonnei bacteria.
However, Effler said that while an investigation was able to identify the carrots as the likely source of the contamination, it’s not known when or where they were contaminated.
Gate Gourmet was sent a warning letter by the federal Food and Drug Administration on April 21 citing violations found in a February inspection of its Honolulu facility — such as a “pink slimy substance” dripping onto the conveyor of the pot washing machine, live cockroaches and flies, and mold growing on the windows of a refrigerator.