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Man takes on airline over food standards

IT was a case of David versus Goliath in a city court yesterday as a 64-year-old man from Jiangsu Province took on China Eastern Airlines.

He is accusing the airline of defrauding consumers by serving inflight food allegedly produced without licenses.

Guo Jinrong has financed the case himself and took China Eastern flights seven times in a bid to collect evidence to support his charges.

He said in his lawsuit in Changning District People's Court that he wanted to alert people about suspect food hygiene and safety on China Eastern planes.

Guo is seeking an apology from China Eastern and about 9,000 yuan (US$1,317) in compensation for travel costs and "investigation fees."

China Eastern said it would cover Guo's costs on condition that he withdrew his charges, but Guo refused.

Guo said that on September 29, 2008, he took China Eastern flight from Shanxi Province's Taiyuan City to Shanghai. He found the bread served had no production date and shelf life on the package. The producer was Taiyuan Aviation Food.

Guo submitted a letter of complaint to the chief steward and returned the bread.

He later took six China Eastern flights from Taiyuan to Shanghai to investigate aviation food conditions.

He found production dates and shelf lives were added to bread packages. The serial numbers of the production license and production standards were also on the packages. The producer had changed to Shanxi Eastern Airlines Food.

Guo said the original Taiyuan firm stopped operations on September 1, 2008. After that, the Shanxi firm made bread and cake without licenses to serve on flights from Taiyuan to 15 cities, he said.

The hearing will continue as China Eastern said it needed more time to verify figures provided by Guo during his lofty period of investigation.


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