View Full Version : Food Safety Inspectors want entry to your A/C now

Tartan Giant
22nd Jul 2003, 20:05
As if there are not enough time wasting paper-pushers, and regulators with clip-boards wanting to examine your A/C operation, the Food Standards Agency now wants to 'play'.

Ref Site : http://www.food.gov.uk/foodindustry/Consultations/consultni/129597

We are seeking your views on a proposal to make an order (draft attached) under Article 2(2) of the Food Safety (Northern Ireland) Order 1991 ('the 1991 Order') which specifies ships and aircraft and purposes for which they are 'premises' in and under the 1991 Order.

I would say to these leaches, bug*er off and find a real job.


22nd Jul 2003, 20:37
This has been rolling along for several years, since the Association of Port Health Authorities pressed Ministers to designate ships and aircraft as "premises".

There have been reported cases of food poisoning amongst passengers, but the majority of contamination was traced back to the flight kitchens on the ground, rather than the galley.

The big difficulty is that outbreaks are often not detected, since the affected passengers attend different GPs when they develop symptoms. :yuk:

Since the galley is a "food preparation area", then much the same access should be given as to those who inspect your local high street restaurant to prevent the outbreak of salmonella.

TG, this is clearly a discussion document. If you feel strongly enough, then make your views known to Olivia Gilchrist. :ok:

22nd Jul 2003, 20:55
Will we have another 'anomaly' here with exceptions being made to aviation regarding health & safety regulations?

I mean, where in the UK 'nanny' state could you find a 100+ seat dining area where pre-cooked food is stored and prepared within three or four feet of a chemical toilet which is used at least once by around half the customers every two hours? Don't forget that said 'customers' are passing through the food preparation area on the way to and from said latrine? :yuk:

22nd Jul 2003, 21:21
Food poisoning kills people every year , so I think it's fair to have specialists checking the stuff on board.

PPRuNe Towers
22nd Jul 2003, 21:24
..... and where careers have been advanced with clever ideas like shutting down apu's on turnarounds for cost savings.

As many of you are aware on low cost favourite airframes no air means no running water. Food is being handled, set up and stored. Calls of nature attended to and absolutely no facilities for the crew handling the food to wash their hands.

22nd Jul 2003, 21:57
I've posted on this sunject a few times before, here goes again. I was once a delivery manager for a caterer at LGW, responsible for getting the aircraft catered for around a dozen scheduled & charter airlines, including some of the biggest names in the business.

I can tell you categorically that catering kitchens (which incidentally are all within a couple of miles of the airport) go to very great lengths to ensure that they are clean. They also go to even greater lengths to ensure that temperature regimes are maintained on caters & in most cases, that carts are sealed & not handled prior to crew service.

If any problems occur, it is generally not because the crew have contaminated things, nor in most cases the pax. It is usually because something has gone wrong at the kitchen. But I will say this, practically every airline that I ever had dealings with in respect of catering was so incredibly parsimonious that it remains a constant source of amazement to me that kitchens even bother to supply.

All caterers involve themselves in supplying newspapers, booze, duty free & anything else it would be possible to turn a buck on, since food on planes does not pay. I saw the writing on the wall & got out, after a meeting with a well known charter airline whose name is a number somewhere above 1999 at which we were told to go off & create a menu including cutlery & trays etc. for 65p per pax.

The crews fare better, but not much. You gets what you pays for & that includes hygiene.

neil armstrong
22nd Jul 2003, 22:23
They can come and inspect my freighter anytime they want.
I will show them our box of Biscuits and water bottle collection:O


22nd Jul 2003, 23:12
On what grounds would they enter a foreign carriers' aircraft, I though only HMC could enter without permission, I may be wrong but some carriers still deem their aircraft as sovereign territory.

Excuse the pun, but this could open a can of worms.

23rd Jul 2003, 00:59
PPRuNe Towers

That alcohol handwash stuff would solve the water issue...

Tartan Giant
23rd Jul 2003, 01:22
Slingsby makes a very good point !
You can imagine the diplomatic incident if a foreign carrier missing its slot because a team of clip-board charlies invade the machine during a QTR.

This latest step towards more waste-paper reminds when high-viz tabards came on the scene.
The UK airlines had to comply PDQ - foreign carriers on UK soil gave it the Prescott two-finger salute.
We always follow the rules, others laugh.

Food poisoning kills people every year , so I think it's fair to have specialists checking the stuff on board.

And around 800 people a year drown in UK waters, yet I see no rush of government power wanting to control that carnage.

How about the 5,000 patients a year that die in our hospitals from infections picked up whilst they are in those "clean" places getting 'things' done !!!

If you look at the FSA website and read some of the regional reports where they send inspectors into check "high risk" food premises (some restaurants) you will find they cannot even follow up cases properly. In many areas they cannot meet "regular visit" targets.
I see this latest aircraft exercise as another Labour "spin machine" in action, which as a cost-benefit excercise is way off the beam.

The crews fare better, but not much. You gets what you pays for & that includes hygiene.

Another good point !!

Consider the Foot and Mouth crisis of 2001 when our country threw away 20 Billion due this goverments ineptitude.
2.1 billion of OUR money went on "compensation" for a kick-off (how many hospitals would that have built ?)

The import of diseased meat was a focus of blame - what do they do..........train 2 (two) special infected/illegal meat sniffer dogs !

This government regulation culture is from the loins of those who gave you the solid steel locked Flight Deck door, and the same idiots who will not allow your wife or father onto YOUR Flight Deck for "security" reasons.

As I said before, they (government clip-board charlies) can bug*er off and get a real job.


23rd Jul 2003, 02:40
pPrune Towers...

<<As many of you are aware on low cost favourite airframes no air means no running water. Food is being handled, set up and stored. Calls of nature attended to and absolutely no facilities for the crew handling the food to wash their hands.>>
Our A320s/A319s are the same... well at least the new ones are. The 10 old ones have air compressors to keep water flowing whenever power is on... And as you say, under pressure from airports / employer to minimise APU use, asked not to start it until ETD - 5 or so. And that's after all the food has been setup, distributed, everyone's used the toilet, can't wash hands etc.

Oh - and as my "handle" shows, we're not a LCC!


Wee Weasley Welshman
23rd Jul 2003, 03:03
I've often wondered about that.

The state of tea/coffee is highly variable. Some aircraft on a fleet get known to have 'good' or 'bad' water in this respect.

With no technical differences between the aircraft and they being of similar age one can ony hypothesise that the water in some aircraft is infected.

I'd be interested if BALPA or CAA could instigate a random sampling of G reg aircraft potable water to test for potentially harmful bacteria presence.

Being Welsh and growing up on a farm I have really relaxed attitudes to drinking dodgy water. I think modern society is only serving to harm itself in its endless quest to sanitise eveything, everywhere at all times.

Nevertheless - the results would interest me, if only to put my mind at rest.


Troy Tempest
23rd Jul 2003, 04:51
To be fair having worked with environmental health officers in the past I know that some bouts of food poisoning can occur very quickly and have very debilitating effects - not something you would like to happen at work!

I would have thought that this would be something that people generally might like to avoid by employing qualified professionals to check - but hey .. each to their own.:confused:

23rd Jul 2003, 05:57
And around 800 people a year drown in UK waters, yet I see no rush of government power wanting to control that carnage.

Yes, but they don't drown after buying an airline ticket :E :E

A pax can assume air travel has some "build-in" risk, after all, but he certainly not expect to die from food poisoning at FL350.

If I follow your idea, since deaths are more or less unavoidable in certain activities, we shouldn't bother with safety or regulations ?

Which airline are you working for :ooh: ?

23rd Jul 2003, 19:43
You are absolutely right Danny
Can you imagine going to eat in a restaurant and when looking for the loos, finding out that they are located in the kitchen:{
Don't think I would be eating there, yet aircraft manufacturers get away with it. Perhaps Messrs Boeing & Airbus will have to rethink their interiors one day.

Potable Water. Well one of the Potable water supply points, that was new, (the original unable to cope with increasing demand), on an airport very near here was discovered to have a very nasty bacteria on the outflow pipe. Fortunately it has been regularly checked ever since.

However, what about the pipe on the water bowser - how often do we see bits & pices hanging off ramp equipment and just imagine the water connector being trawled along the apron:uhoh:

Now consider this. CAP 642 covers all sorts of issues from the regulatory standpoint of the CAA, however, is there anything laid down to stop the fresh water bowser being parked up next to the toilet bowsers - methinks not:rolleyes: :ugh: :ugh: :yuk:

23rd Jul 2003, 20:56
Hopefully they get access to the aircraft. The toilet-galley arrangement is discussting. But whats worse, is when the cleaners use the same cloth to clean the toilets as they do to the clean the galley counters and paxs tables.

Maybe they can do something about the crap crew food too:yuk:

23rd Jul 2003, 22:57
.... and Wee Weasily should maybe also have pointed out that whilst we ( Pilots ) have to eat different meals from one another, there's no such requirement in place about the drinking of water from different sources.

E.g. we all drink the tea & coffee made from the water, which comes from the aircrafts potable supply and where this said same water is not always heated to boiling point ( or beyond - which would kill a lot of bacteria ) but it is used to make our drinks...... i.e. it's often heated to just above teppid, has a tea bag dunked in it for 30", and then is passed to the pilots for them top drink - so go figure !

That said Andy, I too take your point that the ingestion of a little bit of good honest dirt never did much harm - it's the really fithly dirt which does that ! :ooh:

24th Jul 2003, 00:14
Our airline (not a major by the way but a charter) carries out regular potable water checks. If any contamination is found a sterilisation program is initiated with repeat checks until the contaminant is erradicated.

The cleaners are also taught to use different rags for galleys and loos.

The mess in the forward hold where we store the return catering supplies however, that is disgusting! (not spelling dogma!) It can be very difficult to get the cleaners to clean out the hold on a quick TR

24th Jul 2003, 01:46
Company I work for was executing a large project in India a couple of years ago, so we had a lot of people travelling to Mumbai. After a few months a memo came round suggesting people did not eat the food on flights out of Mumbai, because a lot of people were getting sick, some seriously. I was unconvinced: how do you know they caught it on the plane? Nevertheless, several of us stuck to canned drinks and bottled water, no ice, thereafter, and the sickness rate fell.

Any one else have similar experiences on specific routes?

24th Jul 2003, 15:08
you admit it then - you clean the galleys with rags.........:yuk:
You're not wrong, stick clear of the ice!

24th Jul 2003, 16:45
Interesting to me this thread. In my experience, there are two types of meal served onboard - carted & served like salads & snack packs and oven courses which are carted, handled, heated, handled then served - a crucial difference. Assuming that the flight kitchen was clean & the storage regime was correct, then the only possiblilty for contamination is onboard handling.

Cabin crew in my experience were superbly professional & well trained at this, always appreciating the risks in handling food, that leaves pax, worksurfaces & loos. Answer? keep the pax away from the food, which means move the loos.

Charter customers subject to delays as they are, would often mean for us a catered flight of 300 covers being chucked in the bin as storage regulations were breached. Scheduled carriers on the other hand would night stop & therefore be catered at our leisure. I suspect as a result that scheduled services might be more prone to kitchen derived spoiling, since the meals would be created further back from departure as departure was a fixed time every day. allowing the cater to be used at the kitchen as a schedule filler between the mad rush to get unstable charter work completed - this is why charter menus are often substituted at the last minute - and why special meals are often unavailable to the fury of the gluten intolerant slf who booked their flight months ago!