Qantas apologises for maggots found in on-board flight snack

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 3rd April 2012

Australia’s leading airline Qantas has apologised to one of its passengers after live maggots were found in the passenger’s on-board flight snack food.

According to reports, Victorian woman Victoria Cleven had begun eating a pack of trail mix, supplied on-board a Qantas flight from Los Angeles to Melbourne, when she realised the pack had live maggots crawling around inside.

Qantas announced yesterday that it has compensated the woman for the incident.

The Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne quoted a Qantas spokesman as saying, “Qantas sincerely apologises to Mrs Cleven for the incident that occurred on her return flight from LAX to Melbourne.

“Qantas has also contacted the supplier … and is currently investigating how this issue occurred.”

FoodLegal consultant explains legislative context

In an interview with ABC radio on 2 April 2012, David Sutton, a food safety consultant with Melbourne-based food law firm FoodLegal, stressed how important it is for consumers to report cases of foreign bodies being found in food products.

Mr Sutton told ABC radio, “Certainly we have a lot of regulations to manage food safety and food quality at both a Federal and a State level in Australia. At a Federal level, fines for cases like this can reach millions of dollars, or at State level hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Mr Sutton said that the first port of call for consumers should always be the provider of the food. He said, “Food outlets don’t want to find themselves in the media in a negative light so it’s in their interests to be made aware if there is an issue.

“Corporations have legislative responsibilities, particularly with regard to food safety incidents. If there are any incidences that have caused serious injury then they are mandated to report the incidences to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission within 48 hours,” Mr Sutton added.

“If the consumer is not happy with the response they get from the food provider, the next port of call is the local council, which will trace the matter back through State authorities to the manufacturer.”