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Type 1 DJ castigates airline over “dangerous” carb heavy flight meal

A man with type 1 diabetes has criticised a Canadian airline for serving two types of potato as part of his ‘diabetic friendly’ flight meal.

During his WestJet flight, James Boyle was given potato wedges served on a bed of mashed potato, which he said was “dangerous and thoughtless”.

The British DJ and music producer, otherwise known as Breakage, took to Twitter to complain about the meal, which was carb heavy.

He said: “I’m not one for being a diva, but when I have a diabetic meal request, the last thing I expect is this. Both legs of my return trip to Canada, the meals were literally solely based on carbohydrates & sugar, which are the two most dangerous foods to a diabetic.

“I don’t know how it’s managed to happen and go unnoticed, but it’s really not cool and very dangerous. This particular meal earlier really took it too far though; potato wedges with mashed potatoes. Even not being diabetic, how is that a meal @WestJet?”

Responding on Twitter, the airline said: “Thus far, we’ve yet to see the food served onboard be a real point of concern for our guests, who are travelling for reasons beyond that. However, we will say that our Dreamliner meal service is really something if you ever get a chance to try it.”

The tweet exchange continued with Mr Boyle demanding an apology and adding: “Accept responsibility for your dangerous and thoughtless actions, learn from them and change accordingly.”

WestJet responded and said: “We missed the mark earlier and we’d love the opportunity to look into this further.”

Other Twitter users asked James to explain why he had not simply taken the appropriate insulin for the meal. One Twitter user stated that someone with type 1 diabetes can “generally eat any food, sugar or carbohydrate, as long as you have your injection for insulin”.

The musician, who was diagnosed in February this year, said: “Firstly I’m still quite new to it and still learning/quite scared of fast acting insulin, especially as altitude seems to effect my sugars more than usual. Secondly, if I was type 2, I wouldn’t have a choice and would have to steer clear of simple.”

Covering a large amount of carbohydrate can be potentially dangerous for some people with type 1 diabetes as dose estimation errors can happen. An estimation error on a large dose of insulin is likely to be larger than an estimation error on a smaller dose for fewer grams of carbohydrate. A larger dose error is therefore more likely to be dangerous than a small error.

In a statement given to The Independent, WestJet said: “This is not the level of service or onboard experience we strive to deliver, and we sincerely apologise for our initial response to this guest’s serious concerns.

“We take the safety of all guests and crew seriously and are investigating the situation with our catering team and suppliers to determine what occurred and how this can be avoided in the future.

“We thank our guest for bringing this to our attention. Our team has connected with the guest and their travel agent directly to apologize and provide more detail.”

Picture credit: Twitter / @Breakage

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