Research – Is Airplane Food as Dangerous as its Reputation?

Food Poisoning News

Food served on an airplane is handled differently and has fewer regulations due to the constraints of space, time, and oversight. The FDA typically inspects airline caterers only every three to five years and inspects airplanes whenever it is convenient. Although it is entirely possible for the food to be contaminated from the source, studies have shown that bacteria is most likely to develop from improper storage or handling on board. Flight attendants prioritize time efficiency to serve hundreds of passengers which creates an environment where food safety may not be the prime concern. Bacteria are more likely to spread when there is a general lack of sanitation and preparation areas including a limited availability of hot water and hand washing facilities. The standard design of bathroom sinks on board airplanes typically requires one hand to constantly depress the faucet, thus promoting the spread of bacteria. A lack of sanitation space is a growing concern as newer airplanes are being reconfigured to create more seats per aircraft.

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