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Airport Food: Beware
I just read an article on USAToday.com that talked about the safety violations of many restaurants at airports. Since all restaurants in airports are inspected by their local health departments, there isn't one particular agency overseeing all of them. However, serious violations were found at a number of restaurants.
Most common were temperature violations. Cold meats for salads or sandwiches were the most commonly violated. This is scary to me because I think a lot of travelers purchase food in the airport but wait several minutes to hours before consuming it when they get on the plane. If the cold meats were already too warm, they are even warmer by the time they are consumed. Risk of foodborne illness is quite high when foods are not kept at proper temperatures. Cold food should be less than 40 and hot above 140 degrees.
Another group of violations came from cross contamination. Workers were found handling raw meat and not changing their gloves before handling bread or other food. Or how about that worker who makes your sandwich then handles your money and then goes back to sandwiches. Do you know how dirty money is? I think a lot of workers think that their gloves always protect and they forget to change them frequently.
The gross factor came when I read about rat droppings at Atlanta and New York's JFK airports. Yuck! The NYC health department said that the restaurants at the airport have few rodent problems compared to restaurants citywide. Is that supposed to make us feel better? Avoiding eating out in NYC is pretty unlikely. Guess we have to dine with the rats if we want to eat in The Big Apple.