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E.coli in food intended for airliner

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LONDON, Aug 29, 2005 (United Press International via COMTEX) -- Traces of potentially fatal E.coli bacteria were found in meals intended for British Airways passengers, it was reported Monday.

The Times of London, quoting internal documents, said that Gate Gourmet, the airline food company at the center of a bitter industrial dispute, cited eight meals between August 2003 and August 2004 that were infected with food-poisoning bacteria.

E.coli was reported in a lemon-chicken salad and a prawn with lemon herbs meal in August 2003, in a honey-glazed chicken and mustard mayonnaise bloomer in October 2003, in four other unnamed sandwiches in November 2003 and in a pesto butter steak fillet in March 2004.

A spokesman for Gate Gourmet said that the products with E.coli had been identified before they had reached BA's aircraft.

"Gate Gourmet takes its own microsamples of all incoming food from all suppliers before any food enters the food chain," the company said.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International.

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