Virgin Blue has joined fast food giant KFC in its chicken litigation woes. The airline is currently the subject of investigations by Queensland Health over fears passengers may have been exposed to the potentially deadly bacteria Listeria in chicken wraps.
The investigation is centred on a supply of chicken wraps the airline received from a manufacturer between May and June 2009.
Mark O'Connor from Brisbane compensation firm Bennett and Philp Lawyers says Virgin Blue could be saddled with passengers' medical expenses and lost wages, if it is shown the airline inadvertently served contaminated chicken wraps on flights.
"The airline in turn would have to make a claim against the supplier of the food but for passengers, it's the airline that is liable," he said.
O'Connor said there was no suggestion Virgin Blue was responsible for causing the contamination, which is understood to be caused by an ingredient
supplied to the manufacturers of the wraps. However as the meals were provided to passengers as part of the airline's services, it was liable for any food poisoning claims.
Virgin Blue has reported that it understands several southeast Queensland companies were also provided with the chicken wraps from the
manufacturer and the affected chicken wraps were supplied to customers on flights along the east coast of Australia, to New Zealand and Bali.
Folklaw will be thinking twice about ordering its next chicken fix. Vegetarian is obviously the safest way to fly.