An unofficial study conducted by a leading U.S. newspaper found alarming food conditions in our U.S. airports particularly when it comes to handling meat dishes and sandwiches. Raw meats, rats, and airport safety are a hidden problem facing travelers who are unaware of the issues.

airport safety food

Several hundred different restaurants were sampled at ten of our nation’s busiest airports in an investigation by USA Today. These are places where hurried travelers grab food on the run or may sit for only a few minutes in a cafeteria-style restaurant near the departure gate.

The study found that food preparation conditions often mirror the hurried nature of the travelers who use them.

Food is prepared in kitchens that sometimes do not have soap which means that employees cannot keep their hands clean. Rats are prevalent as evidenced by rat droppings found in the airport kitchens near foods.

Food that easily spoils like tuna fish sandwiches and chicken with mayonnaise are frequently stored in warm temperatures which can lead to bacterial contamination. And residue from raw meats were found to have contaminated the packaged products on the shelves much like what we see in the picture above.

You can read the report over here and a rather defensive response from one airport that was solicited by a Washington blogger.

Unfortunately this news will not help the problem. New regulations require that airlines allow passengers back into the terminal if an airplane sits on the runway for more than three hours, a so-called passenger bill of rights. Where will these hungry people go? You guessed it.

The grossest report to me are all the rat droppings they are finding here and there. Inspectors at the international airport in Atlanta found evidence of rats 12 times in the restaurant kitchens within a few month period. AT JFK airport in New York the bigger problems is mice. Yuck.

Next time you grab for that turkey sandwich think again. Preparation of raw meats, rats, and airport safety do not seem congruous at our nation’s airports!

Airport Food Promotion (Video)