Delta Detroit-Amsterdam flight diverted to NYC after passengers served spoiled food, spokesperson says

(CBS DETROIT) – A Delta Air Lines flight from Detroit to Amsterdam was diverted early Wednesday morning after passengers were served spoiled food.

Delta Flight 136 was diverted to New York’s JFK Airport due to the problem, a Delta spokesperson confirmed.

Officials say some of the chicken meal in the main cabin was spoiled and medical crews were treating the affected passengers when they landed in New York around 4 a.m.

The route of the Delta flight that departed from Detroit to Amsterdam, but was diverted to New York after passengers were served spoiled food.

Flight aware

There were 277 passengers on board, but Delta officials have not released a confirmed number of passengers who ate the tainted food. A source with knowledge of the situation told CBS New York that about 70 passengers became ill after consuming the meal.

Additionally, sources reported that there was black mold on some of the food. One passenger said that one of the other people on the plane said that they had eaten the chicken and “didn’t eat it because it was very sour.”

“Delta’s Food Safety team has engaged our suppliers to immediately isolate the product and conduct a thorough investigation into the incident,” said Delta Corporate Communications spokesperson Lisa Hanna. “This is not the service Delta is known for and we sincerely apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and delays to their travels.”

All sick passengers refused further medical treatment.

A Delta spokesperson told CBS News Wednesday night that in response to the incident, the airline “proactively adjusted in-flight meal service on a number of international flights” on Wednesday “out of an abundance of caution.”

The spokesperson added that the pasta-only option is being served to economy passengers on about 75 international flights.

Barbara Smith, of Northville, Michigan, was one of the passengers on the flight who did not eat the food. Smith told CBS News Detroit that when the plane turned around, passengers started showing symptoms. She said it wasn’t pandemonium, but many people got up to use the bathroom.

“The pilot comes in and says, ‘Turns out there’s contaminated food, and they’re not comfortable with us crossing the Atlantic with people who may be dealing with a foodborne illness,'” Smith said. “Was it the caterer, was the crew leaving the food out too long? Especially since we left on time, you really have to wonder what went wrong in the chain of events. So I would appreciate some transparency. And what they’re going to do to correct the situation.”

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was notified of the problem because Delta 136 is an international flight.

Passengers were given food and hotel vouchers and the flight was scheduled to depart from JFK Airport at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday.

Last week a Delta flight from Munich to Detroit was diverted to London due to suspected illness among cabin crew.

After landing at Heathrow Airport, six flight attendants were checked by medical staff. Delta said the flight attendants became ill after an odor filled the cabin. None of the 229 passengers on board were affected by the odor.

According to the airline, last week’s diversion and the one involving the spoiled food are unrelated.

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