Two passengers suffered minor injuries from needles found in the meat of sandwiches served aboard four Delta Air Lines flights from Amsterdam to the United States Sunday, federal officials report. And the FBI is now investigating those incidents.
The sandwiches were served to business class passengers, crew members and government employees flying from Amsterdam to the United States.
At least one batch of 17 sandwiches appeared to be made by a U.S. company based at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. Those sandwiches were served board Delta’s flight to Minneapolis-St. Paul Sunday afternoon.
Two passengers aboard the flight found needles in their sandwiches, officials confirmed. The sandwiches were turned over by Delta to Customs and Border Patrol.
Two passengers sustained minor injuries after biting into the sandwiches and CBP officials found a third needle after confiscating the sandwiches, according to an official report.
According to Delta, the contaminated sandwiches were turkey sandwiches that were served in the business elite cabin to a small number of passengers. Since the incident, turkey sandwiches have been removed from flights out of Amsterdam and have been replaced by pre-packaged pizza, Delta said.
“Delta is taking this matter extremely seriously and is cooperating with local and federal authorities who are investigating the incident,” Delta spokeswoman Kristin Bauer said in a statement to ABC News. “Delta has taken immediate action with our in-flight caterer at Amsterdam to ensure the safety and quality of the food we provide onboard our aircraft.”
Delta told authorities that Gate Gourmet, a U.S. company operating in Amsterdam, made the sandwiches.
Gate Gourmet said it is treating the incident “as a criminal act.”
“Gate Gourmet immediately launched a full investigation to determine the root cause of this disturbing incident, and we are treating this as a criminal act,” Gate Gourmet spokeswoman Christina Ulosevich said in a statement. “Nothing is more important to Gate Gourmet than the safety and well-being of the traveling public. The company also is cooperating fully with investigations by local and federal authorities and by our customer.”
Although federal air marshals were aboard the flight, they were not notified of the incident by the crew, authorities said, until deplaning. At that point the air marshals turned the incident over to the FBI, which was working with CBP and local police to investigate how the needles were put in the meat.
In addition to the Minneapolis flight, a needle was discovered by a teenage passenger aboard a Delta flight from Amsterdam to Atlanta. The teen would not surrender the needle to authorities, who noted he told them that he planned to use it as evidence in a lawsuit.
In a federal report on the incidents, it was noted that the teen was the son of a passenger aboard the flight to Minneapolis who also found a needle in his sandwich.
Additional needles were reported found on two other flights, one by a crew member and another by a federal air marshal.