A Detroit-Amsterdam Delta flight was diverted to New York after passengers were served spoiled food, a spokesperson said.


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

A Delta spokesperson confirmed that Delta Flight 136 was diverted to New York's JFK Airport because of the problem.

Officials said part of the plane's main cabin was damaged and medical staff treated the affected passengers when they arrived in New York about 4 a.m.

The Delta plane was scheduled to depart from Detroit for Amsterdam but was diverted to New York after passengers were served bad food.

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

In addition, sources said that some of the food was reported to contain black mold. One passenger reported that one of the other people on the plane said they ate chicken and “didn't finish it because it was so sour.”

“Delta's food safety team has asked our suppliers to immediately isolate the product and launch a thorough investigation into the incident,” said Lisa Hanna, a Delta corporate communications spokeswoman. “This is not the service Delta is known for and we sincerely apologize to our customers for the inconvenience and delay this caused to their travel.”

All the sick passengers refused further medical treatment.

A Delta spokesperson told CBS News late Wednesday that in the wake of the incident, “out of an abundance of caution” the airline “proactively adjusted” in-flight meal service on several international flights on Wednesday.

The spokesperson said that in about 75 international flights, economy class passengers are being given only pasta option.

Barbara Smith, of Northville, Michigan, was one of the passengers on the flight who did not eat. Smith told CBS News Detroit that passengers began showing symptoms as soon as the plane returned. She said it was not a panic, but many people were getting up to use the restroom.

“The pilot came in and said, 'Turns out there's contaminated food, and they don't feel comfortable with us flying across the Atlantic with people who are potentially dealing with foodborne illness,'” Smith said. “Was it the caterer's fault, did the flight crew leave the food out too long? Especially since we left on time, you really wonder what went wrong in the chain of events. So, I would appreciate transparency. And what are they going to do to rectify the situation.”

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been notified of the issue as Delta 136 is an international flight.

Passengers were given meal and hotel vouchers and the flight was scheduled to take off from JFK Airport at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Last week, Delta flight from Munich to Detroit The plane was diverted to London due to complaints of illness among the air hostesses.

After landing at Heathrow Airport, six flight attendants were examined by medical personnel. Delta said the flight attendants became ill after smelling a foul odor in the cabin. None of the 229 passengers on board the plane suffered any ill effects.

According to the airline, there is no connection between this incident and last week's incident of spoiled food.

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