This is a guest blog post by Chef Rob Endelman.
As if airline food isn’t awful enough, those still eating the carriers’ meals (when offered) now have unsanitary conditions on the aircraft themselves to worry about.
The following is an excerpt from a warning letter the Food and Drug Administration sent to Delta Airlines a few weeks ago:
To comply with 21 CFR 1250.30(a), all places where food is prepared, served, or stored shall be constructed and maintained as to be clean and free from flies, rodents, and other vermin. However, our investigator observed the following evidence of rodent activity on your aircraft:
- Approximately 8-11 rodent excreta pellets above the right door panel in the forward galley (G1) where food is prepared by flight personnel;
- Approximately 10-20 rodent excreta pellets above the left door panel in the forward galley (G1) where food is prepared by flight personnel;
- Approximately 9-15 rodent excreta pellets on the right aisle of the aircraft over seats C3-C7;
- Rodent excreta pellets (too numerous to count) in three areas in ceiling panels located in the middle cross over galley G2, which is directly over places where food and drinks are stored in the aircraft; and
- Mammalian urine in six areas on ceiling panels located in the middle cross over galley G2.
Our laboratory analysis of samples collected during the inspection confirmed the presence of rodent excreta pellets and rodent urine stains in the aircraft.
Instead of relying on the airlines’ food, here are some ideas for easy-to-make meals that work great for air travel:
- Sliced chicken breast sandwich with avocado, cheese, tomato, lettuce, mustard. Feel free to substitute sliced steak for chicken or leave out meat for vegetarian version.
- Sautéed or raw vegetables and (pick a protein) over brown rice or quinoa.
- Whole wheat pasta with meat sauce. (It’s better than you think at room temperature.)
What are your favorite carry-on airplane meals?
Rob Endelman is a chef who, in addition to teaching cooking technique, empowers people with the knowledge to make better choices when it comes to buying and preparing food. He believes that a lack of awareness about our industrial food supply has contributed to the increase in modern diseases such as obesity, diabetes and cancer. Through The Delicious Truth and Cook with Class, Chef Rob helps people understand, identify and avoid hormones, antibiotics, pesticides and synthetic additives.