Cameras to watch over workers packing airline food

Air Canada aircraft are seen at Toronto Pearson International Airport, in this Sept. 20, 2011 file...

Air Canada aircraft are seen at Toronto Pearson International Airport, in this Sept. 20, 2011 file photo. REUTERS/Mark Blinch/Files

Tom Godfrey, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:38 PM ET

TORONTO - Extra security guards and cameras have been added to monitor caterers at Pearson Airport who prepare food for aircraft, following the discovery of a sewing needle in a sandwich on an Air Canada flight to Toronto.

Police and airline officials are hoping the precautions will prevent possible incidents of food tampering.

A needle was discovered in a sandwich on July 30 on an Air Canada flight that originated in Victoria, B.C.

There have been four incidents in the last two months of needles being discovered in sandwiches on Delta Air Lines flights which were catered by Gate Gourmet.

Toronto workers said the food assembly area of the Mississauga, Ont., company has recently been under heightened vigilance from managers and security officials. About 60 staffers, mostly females, work in the area, packing and preparing meals for air and rail passengers.

Police suspect a disgruntled employee may have planted the needle since the workers were in labour talks at the time.

A police inspector said Monday the investigation continues and no charges have been laid.

Officers are in the process of locating and interviewing passengers.

The 850 caterers are members of Teamsters Union Canada, Local 647, who were in a legal strike position on Aug. 5, one week after the last needle was found. The union claims its members had nothing to do with the needle.

The union last week voted 82% in favour of a new contract, averting a strike, Teamsters spokesman Stephane Lacroix said on Monday.

Gate Gourmet spokesman Christina Ulosevich said management was pleased workers approved the new contract on Aug. 7.

Her company provides food to Air Canada, Delta, Air France, Air Transat, British Air, El Al, Turkish Air, KLM, Via Rail and others.

GTAA officials said they were pleased that there would be no job interruption.

 


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