Listeria contamination concerns temporarily shutter Denver food-prep company

Company supplies United, some King Soopers
Posted at 3:47 PM, Oct 30, 2017

DENVER – A food manufacturer that makes prepared meals for some King Soopers grocery stores and United Airlines flights out of Denver International Airport has suspended production after finding trace amounts of listeria in its food-prep area.

The company, Denver-based Journey Cuisine, notified United of the possible contamination on Monday, and said that its Denver catering facility was audited on Friday, when the listeria was found.

The company said the “trace” amounts of listeria were found in an area where food is made “for non-airline retail venues.” The company also said it had not received any confirmed reports of illness.

It said it “immediately and voluntarily suspended retail food production and, out of an abundance of caution, food production for flights out of Denver.”

The company is responsible for producing around 9,000 meals each day for the flights and local grocery stores.

United said none of its customers or employees were sickened by the possible contamination.

A United Airlines spokesperson further sent Denver7 the following statement:

“We have not received any confirmed reports of illness. Further:

  • Testing has not detected listeria in any food prepared from any of our other catering locations served to our employees or on board our aircraft.
  • For our United passengers, we have made arrangements for delivery of catering from other locations.
  • We have initiated an internal review and are already implementing changes to our processes and facilities that are consistent with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (U.S. FDA) recommendations, with construction crews currently on site making further improvements.

We remain in contact with the U.S. FDA and expect to return to normal operations within the next five to 10 days. Until then, on some flights our customers and crews may have alternative food options on Denver departing flights, and we will continue utilizing a variety of solutions to cater flights in and out of our Denver hub.”

Safety is always our highest priority, which is why we took this voluntary action to halt food production and make further improvements to our facility. We apologize that this occurred.

King Soopers, which had used Journey Cuisine products, said it is now transitioning away from using the brand after the recent outbreak.

King Soopers said last Monday that it had recalled four different prepared meals made by Journey Cuisine because of other listeria concerns, including pre-packaged deli broccoli salads and coleslaw. The store chain also recalled other Journey Cuisine products in late September.

The FDA also probed one of the food-prep kitchens at DIA in 2009.