"Thank you for the opportunity to comment on the last three years of FDA inspection reports at certain Gate Gourmet facilities.
"It's important to consider these reports in context. Form 483 is neither a 'warning letter' nor a direct threat of closure. It includes inspectional observations that do not represent a final agency determination of non-compliance.
"None of the FDA's observations at Gate Gourmet from 2009-2012 indicated a threat to the health of the traveling public, nor did they result in a warning letter.
"Gate Gourmet's goal is to be 100 percent compliant with all health and safety regulations, 100 percent of the time. We take our responsibility very seriously. Where any issues arise, we address those issues quickly -- in many instances, during the course of an audit or before the auditing agent even leaves our facility.
"Our work with the FDA is important, especially in an operation of our magnitude. FDA inspections are a key element in the multi-layered processes in place at Gate Gourmet and within the airline catering industry. Along with FDA oversight, this system of controls also includes other government agency audits, customer inspections, continuous improvement initiatives, and our own quality assurance programs (through which we have outsourced food safety inspections to a third party to ensure objectivity).
"We employ thousands of individuals and have rigorous controls in place under which we globally serve more than 250 million safe and high-quality meals annually, to more than 250 airlines. Food safety and security are our highest priorities, and our record is among the best in the food service industry.
"We remain confident in our quality control measures and are continually improving our processes and technology.
"You can find more information about Gate Gourmet's food safety protocols on our website by clicking here, and we encourage you to contact the International Flight Services Association for industry information, including the World Food Safety Guidelines the organization oversees."