British Airways has apologised to a passenger who claims the airline attempted to “hoodwink” him into believing his on-flight meal was kosher, before an investigation proved it was a vegan meal that had been mislabelled.

Richard Sandground and his family, of Edgware, flew back from Bologna to Heathrow following their Pesach holiday in April, having earlier informed the airline of their special dietary requirements.

Kosher Fraud - Food“The flight manager initially told me they didn’t have kosher food, but later tried to hoodwink us into having what can only be described as a normal vegan meal,” said Sandground.

“It was not double-wrapped or even single-wrapped. It had no Beth Din certificates. It had kosher scribbled in hand-writing on the side, but it looked like any other normal food served up on a normal flight.”

Sandground, who confirmed that other Jewish customers at the back of the plane had
received certified kosher meals, then approached the BA customer services team, who told him he had been served a kosher meal.

The truth came to light when he showed photos of his meal to BA’s kosher catering supplier, Hermolis, which confirmed it was not one of their meals.

“I was travelling with my daughter who was heavily pregnant at the time, but we knew it wasn’t kosher so we didn’t eat it,” he said. “The worst thing is that there are people who would have believed them and eaten it.”

British Airways this week issued an apology, saying: “Unfortunately on a recent flight our catering supplier in Bologna incorrectly labelled a vegan meal as kosher. We are working with our supplier to ensure this does not happen again.”

It continued: “We will be contacting our customer to apologise, thank him for alerting us to the issue and to offer a gesture of goodwill.”