Airbus Atlantic: 700 staff sick after Christmas dinner, health officials say

Glass of wine

More than 700 Airbus Atlantic staff are believed to have fallen ill following the company’s Christmas dinner, health authorities in France have said.

Workers from the aerospace group’s site in western France were left suffering from vomiting and diarrhoea, Agence Régionale de Santé (ARS) said.

It is unclear what was on the menu at the festive feast turned nightmare before Christmas.

Airbus told the BBC, however, that only “around 100” were taken ill.

In a statement, it said it was co-operating with the ARS “to identify the cause of the illness and ensure this cannot happen again in the future”.

Airbus Atlantic is a subsidiary of the world’s largest aircraft maker, Airbus, and employs 15,000 people in five countries.

ARS did not provide details about exactly what food might have made people ill at the dinner, which took place last week, but it did say earlier on Friday that diners showed “clinical signs of vomiting or diarrhoea”.

An investigation was being launched to find the source of the mass food poisoning, the organisation told the AFP news agency.

The wider Airbus group employs 134,000 people and provides products and services in the aircraft, helicopter, defence, space and security industries.

In a separate incident in France earlier this year, a number of people fell ill and a Greek national died, after contracting the rare food-borne illness botulism at a restaurant in Bordeaux.

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