Delta Airlines’s Dirty Secret: Rat Feces and Urine Found on Plane

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Please note that the nearest sample of animal excrement may be behind you.

On April 13, the Food and Drug Administration sent a warning letter to Delta’s chief executive stating that inspectors had found “the presence of rodent excreta pellets and rodent urine stains” near the food prep and storage areas of one of the carrier’s planes. The inspection—conducted between January 26 and February 2 at Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, also revealed droppings “too numerous to count” in the ceiling panels of the plane’s middle crossover galley, where the crew store food and drinks.

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Despite the fact that rodent feces can transmit more than 35 diseases to humans, the airline says there is no cause for alarm. After all, this was an isolated incident.

“The health and safety of Delta’s customers and employees are Delta’s top priority. We take this issue very seriously and have an established routine servicing program to inspect our aircraft,” Delta said in a statement. “The aircraft was pulled from commercial service and the issue was resolved within a few days.”

The airline has not clarified whether the incident involved rats or mice, or explained how they got on board in the first place.

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