PICS: Pretoria woman disgusted to find maggots in her in-flight meal


Cape Town – “As I looked down at my meal, I could hardly believe what I was seeing,” said Pretoria resident Stella van Heerden.

Van Heerden and her family were on board the 09:15am Air Mauritius flight MK851 headed for OR Tambo on Thursday morning when she made the nauseating discovery.  The Van Heerden's had just enjoyed a 9-day Sugar Bay beach break on the island of Mauritius but unfortunately it was not about to end well. 

“It was really upsetting for me, as I had eaten half of my meal already,” said Van Heerden.

“I believe they came from the mushrooms, I looked down, asking myself, 'What is this?'

"I took a photo with my iPad and enlarged it. That's when I saw it was a maggot and said 'no this can’t be?'.

UPDATE: Airline responds after PTA woman finds maggots in her in-flight meal


READ: Eeew! 7 of the dirtiest places in an aircraft revealed

After bringing it to the flight attendants attention, Van Heerden said he explained it might be some “kind of spice”.

“He tried to cut it in front of me and then agreed that it definitely was not a spice. It was a maggot!

(Photo: Stella van Heerden)

“I didn’t even think to get the flight attendants name, as I was too busy concentrating on not throwing up.”  

According to Van Heerden, the male flight attendant was very apologetic, saying how sorry he was when he took the meal away. But it was the attitude of a female flight attendant that disappointed Van Heerden the most. 

“She did not apologise, she only brought me a form and said she would bring the issue to the attention of the catering company.”

“They didn’t even bring me water or offer me Eno even though I was clearly feeling very ill and even told them I was feeling sick. Instead, I had to take two nausea tablets from a lady who was sitting two rows down from me,” Van Heerden said.

Van Heerden said it was at this point that they really took a closer look at the plane, which was "not in a good state" in her opinion.

“When we boarded I initially had to wipe down the remote control for my son since it was very sticky, the tray tables also felt dirty and sticky. I was just so grateful that he had not eaten his meal because it was also terrible. We couldn’t make out if it was fish or chicken nuggets and my son said it tasted old.”

Van Heerden said that while the Air Mauritius flight headed to Mauritius was fine, this particular plane looked and felt like it had not been cleaned properly.

READ: Passenger Shaming PICS: MONSTERS of the air are more disgusting than ever

"I even overheard other passengers complaining to flight attendants about dust and unclean conditions too.

“Nobody else complained about their food and of course by the time I had brought it to the cabin crew’s attention, most people had finished their food.”

"One passenger had dropped something under the seat in front of her and had complained about the amount of dust under the seat. Also, there were a lot of people sneezing on the plane.

“We travel quite a lot and I have not had an experience anything like this before. We've been to Mauritius before, two years ago we visited La Victoria and everything was okay. But we flew with SAL. It just feels like this particular plane wasn’t cleaned properly."

Most of all Van Heerden said she was disappointed by the lack of concern and care showed by the rest of the cabin crew.

“It really was a terrible end to a lovely holiday. Everybody working in Mauritius is so friendly and helpful. I will definitely go back there but I’m not so sure I will use Air Mauritius again."

Air Mauritius is investigating the matter and will respond with comment as soon as possible.

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