Swedes hit by airplane food poisoning from flight to Turkey

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A group of tourists from Northern Sweden had an unpleasant start to their holiday in Turkey after a suspected case of food poisoning.

It is believed that the cause of the food poisoning was a result of the chicken that was served up on the chartered plane operated by Sun Express. Seventeen of the one hundred and eighty eight passengers were taken ill shortly after their arrival in Turkey.

After hearing about this incident, I wondered what would have happened if all the crew were affected by the food poisoning whilst in mid air. Thankfully, as a rule, the crew is served different meals to the passengers and no technical crew member eats any of the same products as his or her colleague.

Food poisoning associated with air travel amongst passengers is relatively uncommon in the modern era. It is suggested that greater use of pre-packaged frozen meals, and improved food handling and inspection are responsible for this trend. However lapses do occur and sometimes the aircrafts have to rely on the transportation vehicles which carry the food from the ground source to the aircraft. Naturally this may present a challenge in some countries.

If you are about to be served with a meal on board a plane, I would suggest that you consider the following: Use bottled or sterilised water; avoid ice and salads; only eat fresh and thoroughly cooked food; be wary of ice-cream and think twice about the fish.

Perhaps the simple way of avoiding food poisoning on aeroplanes is to encourage passengers to take on the board a packed lunch!

Ian Jenkins

Claims Abroad team

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