Do Airline Food Carts Pose a Security Risk?

A recent report produced by Unite Here, a union representing 12,000 airline catering workers nationwide, has raised questions about possible security gaps in airline food carts and catering trucks.

According to the report, nearly one in four airline catering workers — 24% — say unauthorized people could get into their kitchens and trucks, and the same percentage warned that someone could place contraband on a food cart. The report comes two years after an incident in which several Delta Air Lines passengers discovered needles in their sandwiches on flights from Amsterdam on July 16, 2012.

The 18-page report being submitted to the Transportation Security Administration had a few recommendations for increasing airline catering security, including:

• A TSA presence in any kitchen where meals are prepared or plated.

• A requirement that subcontractors be certified.

• An immediate halt to temporary labor in the industry.

Physical and staffing security measures must be consistently implemented for airline subcontracting companies, especially for those with sites far from the airport and TSA oversight. Taking your shoes off at the airport won’t do very much good against a needle or other illegal imports smuggled into your on-flight meal at a warehouse 30 miles away.

C&A is committed to helping businesses such as airline catering companies to develop robust, efficient security plans and procedures for their organization. Having an overall security plan or an annual security breach exercise or drill can help to identify gaps and weaknesses in your organization’s security protocols. If your organization needs help with any of the above, send us an email at for a free consultation.

Read more on the report produced by Unite Here below:

– The C&A Team

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