Airline Catering Workers in Phoenix Say Food Is Getting Too Hot on the Tarmac

On a tarmac that can top 120 degrees, workers said it can take 3 hours to get food to planes, and dry ice used to cool food can evaporate before delivery

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When you order food on a plane, there's a chance it was preheated for you on the tarmac — unintentionally, NBC News reports.

Airplane food is made at catering facilities at or near airports, usually by one of a group of large firms that contract with airlines. The food is brought to planes by hydraulic delivery trucks, which — according to workers — aren't always temperature controlled. You may have seen one of these trucks pulled up to the side of your jet, sporting the logo of LSG Sky Chefs, Gate Gourmet or Flying Food Group, the three companies that make up nearly half the U.S. airline catering industry.

NBC News has learned that in September, workers at the LSG Sky Chefs facility that serves the Phoenix airport sent a letter to the Food and Drug Administration, expressing concerns that LSG's food was reaching unsafe temperatures on its way to the planes.

South of downtown Phoenix in the Sonoran Desert, Sky Harbor International Airport often experiences intense heat. Two summers ago temperatures on the tarmac got so high that dozens of flights were grounded because high heat makes it difficult to take off.

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