An Air Idia passenger Brijesh Lohia of Malad, Mumbai, found a tooth impant in the pualo given to him on board Mumbai-Delhi flight IC 166 on Wednesday, reports Mumbai Mirror.
Soon after takeoff at 1 pm, the flight's cabin crew wheeled out their food trolleys, and began serving passengers. The staff had hardly finished serving lunch, when they were summoned by an irate passenger occupying seat 14D.
Brijesh Lohia – it seems – had reason to be angry: he had allegedly found a tooth implant in the food served to him.
“I had opted for a vegetarian meal, which included a portion of yellow rice, dal, a vegetable and a sweet. And it was while eating the rice that I found some hard substance… I was horrified when it turned out to be a tooth implant,” he said. Not pleased with his ‘surprise gift', an enraged Lohia insisted on filing an official complaint. “
"The cabin crew apologized and then offered me another meal, but I was too sick to even consider eating. They then asked me to fill a suggestion form, which I also refused,'' a seething Lohia said. “
The crew told me that the meals were sourced from a caterer, and that all food packages were prepared under strict quality control.
"Nevertheless, I wrote down my complaint and asked them to sign on it to acknowledge that the tooth was indeed found in the rice. “Mangesh Dhamele, the passenger seated next to me, signed, but not the crew who took away the unfinished meal when they realised that I wanted to take it along for a laboratory test,” he said.
On landing in Delhi, Lohia – accompanied by Dhamele – went to the duty manager's office and handed over his complaint.
“Forget the hygiene factor, it could have been dangerous had I swallowed the rice with the implant. The airline must take action against those responsible, or When contacted, Air India spokesperson Jitendra Bhargava said: “We will investigate how an extraneous matter could have entered the food packet because meals come straight from flight kitchens, and they have high hygiene standards.”
All meals served on Air India flights from Mumbai are prepared by Taj Air Caterers. The airline's in-flight services department finalises the menu depending on the flight timing. The order on the number of meals is placed a day in advance, taking into account passenger load.
A sample of each meal is sent to the airline catering department and is tasted by its officer before it is taken on board. Before the menu is approved, the airline discusses with the caterer the preparation style and weight of each food item.