Food Poisoning Hits 700 Airbus Staff After Christmas Meal

Food Poisoning At Airbus Christmas Dinner

Image of Air France Airbus A220. Credit: Bradley Caslin/

NEWS has emerged of a mass food poisoning incident at a festive dinner for Airbus employees in France.

Over 700 employees at Airbus Atlantic in Montoir-de-Bretagne, Loire-Atlantique, reported falling ill following a Christmas meal on December 14, as confirmed by the Regional Health Agency of Pays de la Loire on Friday, December 23.

Despite the exact cause  still unknown, speculations about bacterial contamination or a highly infectious gastroenteritis virus are being explored.

The unsettling event occurred during a Christmas dinner organised for Airbus Atlantic employees. Jean-Claude Iribarren, Secretary of the Airbus Atlantic Works Committee, shared with French media that the meal was prepared by the company’s canteen, involving numerous local suppliers. The dinner, held annually, was attended by 2,600 individuals.

Investigations Underway

The symptoms, mainly vomiting and diarrhoea, predominantly surfaced on December 15 and 16. The Regional Health Agency, in collaboration with Public Health France and the Departmental Directorate for Population Protection, has launched an inquiry. Results are expected by next week.

As a precaution, a questionnaire was distributed to all attendees. The spokesperson stressed the importance of thoroughness in such investigations.

Nolwenn, an affected employee, described her ordeal to Ouest-France. ‘I had colic and headaches like I’d never had before. It was worse than giving birth,’ she recounted. These symptoms suggest the severity of the outbreak, though the exact cause remains unconfirmed.

Ensuring Safety

Iribarren emphasised the company’s compliance with safety protocols. ‘As we do every year, we organised a Christmas dinner for 2,600 people with a lot of local suppliers.’

He pointed out that the company maintains samples of every product served, which are now being analysed by the ARS (health authorities). This procedure is part of the rigorous investigation process.

A representative from Airbus reassured that no one was ‘seriously ill.’ The case is now in the hands of the health authority, who is leading the investigation.

Airbus Atlantic, a subsidiary of the leading aircraft manufacturer, Airbus, employs 15,000 people across five countries. This incident has put a spotlight on the company’s health and safety standards.

In conclusion, the outbreak at Airbus Atlantic’s festive event raises concerns about food safety and health regulations.

The ongoing investigations are crucial in identifying the cause and preventing future occurrences. The wellbeing of the employees remains a top priority for both the company and the health authorities.

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Written by

John Ensor

Originally from Doncaster, Yorkshire, John now lives in Galicia, Northern Spain with his wife Nina. He is passionate about news, music, cycling and animals.