News - United Airlines Listeria KitchenUnited Airlines’ catering kitchen at Newark Liberty International Airport seen here was the reportedly the site of listeria contamination earlier this year. | Willow&Monk / Flickr cc-licensed

United Airlines is in tamp-down mode as it addresses questions about the safety and cleanliness of its food catering kitchen at Newark Liberty International Airport, the Chicago-based carrier’s largest hub on the East Coast.

Reports first surfaced in August on a local television station in New Jersey about alleged listeria contamination in United’s food preparation facility at Newark Liberty.

Subsequently, three former managers at that catering facility filed lawsuits alleging United had failed to take sufficient steps to promptly clean up the kitchens and rid them of contamination despite repeated expressions of concern to higher-up United managers, including President Scott Kirby.

A spokesman for United today said the lawsuits are without merit. The spokesman also said that one of the three plaintiffs has left the company voluntarily, and two others were relocated from the catering facility and given other roles because they were not satisfactorily doing their jobs.

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