Three managers who work in United Airlines' catering division are suing the airline, saying that United did not address food safety issues at Newark Liberty International Airport. This failure put passengers at risk, they allege.

The food safety issues in question are maintenance issues at United's catering facility at Newark, which allowed Listeria to spread, including Listeria monocytogenes, says the lawsuits. The lawsuits also say that once the Listeria was discovered, United didn't do anything to contain it. 

The lawsuits were filed by Marcia Lee, United's former senior manager of food safety; Eliot Mosby, general manager of the Newark catering facility; and Gustavo Moya, Newark food safety manager. The lawsuits that Lee and Moya filed have already been moved to federal court, in mid-October.

In the lawsuits, Mosby and Moya say that when they mentioned the "intolerable conditions" at the catering facility, they were either fired, re-assigned, or forced to resign. 

In a statement to CNBC, United denied these allegations and said the lawsuits were without merit. "Everyone at United Airlines, including our leadership, is committed to serving our customers the safest and highest quality food in the air, which is why we have expanded our industry-leading food safety program, added several experts to our food safety team and are investing more than $21 million to enhance our catering facilities."

Source:, 10/31/18, "United Airlines mishandled listeria contamination, endangering travelers, lawsuits claim"