Food and beverages served on airplanes are safe for passengers taking to the skies this summer when restrictions on cross-border travel are lifted and airlines resume operations. Additional safety and hygiene measures ensure maximum safety on board every aircraft. Stringent safety precautions at all levels of the inflight catering supply chain are in place, so that passengers do not go without food or drink during their travels.
Fabio Gamba, Managing Director of the Airline Catering Association (ACA), emphasises: “You can travel this summer and enjoy food on board your flight. Food is not connected to virus spread and strict food safety measures refined through decades of air travel remain in place to make sure that all food leaving our kitchens is safe. If you travel, you can continue to enjoy your meal onboard with peace of mind.”
ACA has adopted the ACA COVID-19 Guidelines, new safety guidelines for the industry in order to help its members navigate the COVID-19 pandemic. The ACA COVID-19 Guidelines are built on four guiding principles, known as the 4P’s, which allow for proper risk assessment and the continuation of safe inflight catering: People; Premises/Policies/Processes & Procedures; and Procurement.
Every airport, airline, and aircraft is different. The ACA COVID-19 Guidelines provide additional controls and checklists tailored to the local risk landscape and adaptable in an ever-changing world. They also ensure that measures such as social distancing and personal protective equipment are used in medium- to high-risk stages of the pandemic. Even in a low-risk stage, these guidelines support timely facility adaptation to changes. In the event an infection cluster is discovered in a particular region, distancing measures must be implemented without supply-chain disruption.
Inflight catering does not carry a risk of transmitting the coronavirus. According to the World Health Organisation, there is no evidence to date of viruses that cause respiratory illnesses being transmitted via food or food packaging. Aircraft design and travel regulations make person-to-person contact on aircraft lower than other forms of contact, such as at home or in offices. The air quality inside an aircraft cabin is exceptionally clean due to vertical air flow and the use of HEPA filters, as well as strict measures to stop infected persons from travelling.
Travel and tourism provide 10% of jobs and GDP globally, with inflight catering a vital pillar of modern travel. The ACA guidelines support the health of the travel and tourism sector by making sure airline passengers can travel safely while enjoying a meal on board.
The ACA COVID-19 Guidelines are published here.