British Airways officials said Friday more than 175 passengers...

LONDON -- British Airways officials said Friday more than 175 passengers and crew members got food poisoning recently from tainted hors d'oeuvres served aboard flights to the United States, the Persian Gulf and Africa.

Seven passengers were hospitalized with the ailment, including Peter de Savary, backer of Britain's challenge in last year's America's Cup yacht racing.


He was taken ill on a BA flight from London to New York last week.

British Airways said more than 100 passengers and 75 crew, mostly cabin staff, were affected on 14 flights last week from London's Heathrow airport to Nairobi, Johannesburg, Singapore, Bahrain and several U.S. cities, including on Concorde flights to Washington.

Two flights, including one Concorde to Washington, had to be cancelled because of the outbreak but no cases have been reported since last Saturday.

Health officials said the food poisoning resulted from a tainted glaze applied to hors d'oeuvres that were served in the first- and club-class sections of the planes.

'The source was rapidly identified and removed,' said British Airways in a statement. 'Local and international health authorities were immediately alerted and have cooperated closely in our investigation.'

The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta was one of the agencies informed of the outbreak.


The contaminated food was prepared at the British Airways' catering center at Heathrow but British health officials who inspected the facility said there was no reason to close it.

'British Airways has a great hygiene record and they are cooperating fully with the investigation,' said a spokesman for Hounslow Health Authority, which covers Heathrow airport.

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