Whistle-blower: Security breach remains at Hartsfield-Jackson

by: Aaron Diamant Updated:


ATLANTA - Nine months after an investigation into a security breach at Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Channel 2 Action News has obtained shocking new images from inside airline caterer Gate Gourmet's Atlanta airport operation.

Whistle-blowers are sounding the alarm again about security and now, food safety.

The latest concerns are part of a continuing Channel 2 Action News investigation into what air safety experts and lawmakers say is an ongoing security breach involving access to catering carts.

Investigative reporter Aaron Diamant reached out to one whistle-blower inside Gate Gourmet's Hartsfield-Jackson facility as soon as the news broke about needles found in six turkey sandwiches on four Delta airlines flights from Amsterdam to the United States two weeks ago.

Diamant met with the whistle-blower again on Wednesday.

"That just shows the security practices that I've been talking about for this long, that you can get anything on a plane," the whistle-blower said.

The sandwiches were made at a Gate Gourmet kitchen in Amsterdam, but Diamant asked the whistle-blower if the same would be possible at the company's Atlanta facility.

"Without a doubt," the whistle-blower responded. "Totally."

Our source brought showed Diamant new video, shot at the Atlanta facility since the needle scare, showing catering carts with security seals that weren't actually sealed, allowing employees to easily open the carts and insert unauthorized items.

A second video showed a box marked "Delta" full of food for an international flight. The whistle-blower highlighted the single piece of masking tape, the whistle-blower said is a new security measure to detect tampering, which the company put in place after the needles showed up.

"Right now they told us to put tape on top of the boxes and then take the tape off once we get on the plane," the whistle-blower explained. "What type of security practice is that?"

The whistle-blower also introduced Diamant to a coworker at Gate Gourmet who shot more video inside one of the facility's restrooms within the last several months, which showed standing water full of bugs swimming in it.

"As soon as you step outside the bathroom door, the carts are right there, 3, 4 feet at the most," the second source explained.

That second whistle-blower also showed Diamant a photo taken in April of trash piled high inside the back of a Gate Gourmet truck.

"They're the exact same trucks that carry all of the food, all of the equipment, drinks, utensils, all of it," the second whistle-blower said.