Blade-like object found in food of Air India flight to San Francisco, airline apologises


PTI, Jun 17, 2024, 4:51 PM IST

Representative image

Mumba: An Air India passenger has claimed that a blade-like metal piece was found in his food on a Bengaluru-San Francisco flight last week after which Tata Group-owned airline launched an investigation.

Confirming the presence of a “foreign object” in the food, Air India on Monday “deeply apologised” for the incident, saying that it came from the vegetable processing machine used at the facilities of its catering partner TajSATS.

The passenger, in a post on X, claimed that he got a feel of the blade-like object only after chewing the grub for a few seconds but luckily no harm was done.

“Air India food can cut like a knife. Hiding in its roasted sweet potato and fig chaat was a metal piece that looked like a blade. I got a feel of it only after chewing the grub for a few seconds. Thankfully, no harm was done,” the passenger, Mathures Paul, who is a journalist by profession, said.

Paul blamed Air India’s catering service, adding, “but the incident doesn’t help the image I have of Air India…what if the metal piece was in the food served to a child?”

This is the second incident involving the food served on the airline’s long-haul flights in the recent past.

Significantly, both Air India and TajSATS are part of the steel-to-software conglomerate, Tata Group.

“Air India confirms that a foreign object was found in the meal of a guest aboard one of our flights. After investigation, it has been identified as coming from the vegetable processing machine used at the facilities of our catering partner,” Air India Chief Customer Experience Officer Rajesh Dogra said in a statement.

The airline had initiated a probe after the passenger posted about the incident on X.

The airline has worked with its catering partner to strengthen measures to prevent any recurrence, including more frequent checking of the processor, especially after chopping any hard vegetables, Dogra said.

“Air India has engaged with the affected customer and deeply apologises for this experience,” the airline official added.

Also apologising for the unfortunate incident, a TajSATS spokesperson said, “We have strengthened our processes of comprehensive inspection and preventive maintenance of all our production equipment.”

Earlier on Saturday, a business-class passenger of the airline’s New Delhi-Newark flight had complained that he was served “uncooked” food by the airline and the seats were dirty, describing the journey as “no less than a nightmare”.

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