FBI launches criminal investigation into Delta needle sandwich affair


The FBI is investigating how needles found their way into a half-dozen turkey sandwiches served on Delta Airlines flights this weekend.


Donald Bowers

The FBI is often tasked with finding a needle in a haystack, figuratively speaking — but this time, they've got to figure out how a bunch of them landed in Delta airline flight sandwiches over the weekend, reported the LA Times.

Six sewing needles were found lodged in six turkey sandwiches served on several Delta flights, a bizarre incident that the LA Times today said has prompted a high-profile criminal investigation from the FBI. 

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The accident left one passenger with minor mouth injuries, said the LA Times

This rather unfortunately-named victim, James Tonges, told Good Morning America that the needle made its presence known “on the second bite into the sandwich, it actually poked the top of my mouth."

Tonges, whose son also found a needle in his meal, has been put on anti-HIV medication to ward off any possibility of contracting the virus or hepatitis B or C, reported ABC News

Dr. William Schaffner, the chairman of Tennessee's Preventive Medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, said chances are slim that Tonges would contract anything, but he will probably be paranoid for a while. 

“They said if I started developing symptoms like nausea and headaches, go to the emergency room right away," Tonges explained. "It’s just a wait-and-see game now.”

The incident has embarrassed Delta. "Needles have nothing to do with making sandwiches in my house," Schaffner told ABC.

"Someone must have put them there. His son was exposed, too – it’s double insanity.”

Actually, it was quadruple-insanity. Needle-laden sandwiches were served on a total of four Delta Amsterdam-Minneapolis-St. Paul flights on Sunday. 

Delta spokeswoman Lindsay McDuff told the LA Times today that another two more needles were discovered after the company checked food supplies on a Seattle-bound flight. 

Delta has launched an internal investigation into the incident, as has their food provider.