The Truth About Airplane Food

Airplane Food: Is dining in-flight a good option or are you better off having your meal before boarding the flight?

Aditi Ahuja  |  Updated: January 16, 2020 16:59 IST

The Truth About Airplane Food

Airplane food may look healthy, but there is a lot that goes on behind-the-scenes.

  • In-flight dining has been the subject of many a controversy
  • Airline food may actually not be a healthy option for your diet
  • It is a better idea to eat before your flight

Travelling by air is part and parcel of the fast-paced world that we live in. With air travel comes the gamut of airline dining, which food experts and food authorities regularly express their concern about. Whether it is the food's hygienic content, or the manner in which the airplane food is prepared, or even how it is stored and transported - food in airplanes has come under the lens more than once. If the latest inspection reports by FDA about flight food are to be believed, you may actually consider eating before your flight, than on board. As per inspection reports obtained by public records request, FDA inspectors have found condensation dripping on to food, fans blowing dust on food, raw meat, moldy bread, live birds and insects, as well as rodent feces. 

(Also Read: United Airlines Lures Passengers With Better Meals)


First of all, the food served in the airlines is prepared on ground and then lifted off to the planes, where it is served after a good amount of time. Moreover, the sheer scale at which the food is produced makes it difficult to maintain the quality of each meal that is served. The number of meals produced by a single airport catering facility can range anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 meals a day. Further, meals served in airplanes are subject to scrutiny only once in five years; leaving rooms for below quality food being served.


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Roy Costa, an environmental health and food inspector, says, "Outbreaks from airline food are challenging to identify because the people get dispersed into various locations." Airline food is also touted to be one of the leading causes for food poisoning among Americans, as estimated by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thus, next time you're in a dilemma whether to eat before your flight or during it, think twice and weigh in your options before finalizing your meal.


About Aditi AhujaAditi loves talking to and meeting like-minded foodies (especially the kind who like veg momos). Plus points if you get her bad jokes and sitcom references, or if you recommend a new place to eat at.

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