Air India under scrutiny after passenger finds metal blade in in-flight meal

Mathures Paul / X / BoeingMan777 / Shutterstock.com

Air India is facing scrutiny over its food safety practices after a passenger found a metal blade in his in-flight meal.

Journalist Mathures Paul was traveling on flight AI 175 from Kempegowda International Airport (BLR) in Bengaluru to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) on June 9, 2024 when the incident took place.

During the flight, Paul was horrified to discover that his meal contained what appeared to be a sharp metal blade. Paul took a photograph of the object and posted it to X (formerly Twitter).

“Air India food can cut like a knife,” Paul wrote, adding that he felt the object after chewing on the dish, a roasted sweet potato and fig chaat.

In the post Paul said he had not been injured or harmed, but raised questions about what would have happened if the dish had been served to a child.

Paul tagged Air India in his post, which has now been shared more than 81 times. Air India responded to Paul, who tagged the airline his post, and said the incident does not represent the level of service it aims to provide to passengers.

After initiating a probe into the incident, the airline confirmed that the object had been identified as part of a “vegetable processing machine” used by the airline’s catering partner.

“Air India confirms that a foreign object was found in the meal of a guest aboard one of our flights. After investigation, it has been identified as coming from the vegetable processing machine used at the facilities of our catering partner,” Air India Chief Customer Experience Officer Rajesh Dogra told local media. 

Dogra said the airline has worked with its catering partner to strengthen measures to prevent any recurrence, including “more frequent checking of the processor especially after chopping off any hard vegetable”.

Air India added that it had already reached out to Paul and apologized for the experience.

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