FDA warns Delta over rat-dropping infested flight

Upcoming trip booked through Delta Air Lines? You might want to pack your own meal… and some hand sanitizer, baby wipes and latex gloves.

Germaphobic domestic flyers will probably be squicked out over recent findings that the carrier was operating a plane that was so infested with rats, investigators lost count of the number of rodent droppings scattered about the aircraft. The Food and Drug Administration sternly warned the airline earlier this month in a letter, and said they believed “a recurrence is likely without adequate preventive measures in place.”

A copious coating of rat poop is a pretty disgusting circumstance all things considered, but it wasn’t the sum of the problem. Those issues were present not only in passenger areas, but also affected conditions where food was stored and prepared. Investigators detailed the findings:

According to the FDA letter, the agency found numerous “rodent excreta pellets” near areas of the plane where food is prepared by flight personnel. Some of the pellets were located above door panels in the forward galley and above passenger seats.

Another finding cited in the letter: “Rodent excreta pellets (too numerous to count) in three areas in ceiling panels located in the middle cross over galley G2, which is directly over places where food and drinks are stored in the aircraft.” The FDA also found “mammalian urine” on ceiling panels of the plane.

The FDA said rodent droppings can cause a “rare but serious” infection of hantavirus in humans. Delta said the filthy craft was an “isolated” occurrence.

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