contrails67
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What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:08 pm

Just wondering what happens to the leftover airline food? I know restaurants have to throw the food out for sanitary reasons..is that the same case for unused..unopened airline meals as well? Its a pity it can't be given to some food bank or homeless people.
 
iairallie
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Thu Aug 05, 2010 12:42 pm

Some non-perishibles do occasionally get donated but for the most part it is all tossed. Considering most meals these days are served on international flights that food has to be tossed and burned on landing.
Enough about flying lets talk about me!
 
workwings
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:39 pm

Regarding the recycling of unused food: This is a true story. I worked in Delhi for several years in the late 1980s. Back then, it was not possible to buy anything in India that was not manufactured domestically. This included all sorts of foods: vinegar, peanut butter, and any foreign cheese.

Word went around our office that there was someone making the rounds who could get you cheese. The "cheese man" was selling individually wrapped small cheeses -- gouda, camembert, cheddar...-- for a pittance. We would buy them as this was a taste of home. To this day we are convinced that these had been rescued from the unused lots from AF, KL, LH, etc.
 
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airportugal310
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Thu Aug 05, 2010 2:43 pm

Lord knows I have eaten my fair share of BOB meals, that came off unopened after the RON aircraft arrived.

Some really good stuff there!
I sell airplanes and airplane accessories
 
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BreninTW
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Fri Aug 06, 2010 12:57 am

Years ago, CX mentioned in the in-flight magazine that sealed meals were donated to charities and orphanages in Hong Kong. I remember thinking that was pretty cool.

I guess now those meals are incinerated.
 
charliecossie
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Fri Aug 06, 2010 6:37 am

All airlines willingly donate all leftover food to their starving engineering staff.
 
slz396
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Fri Aug 06, 2010 11:40 am

Quoting charliecossie (Reply 5):
All airlines willingly donate all leftover food to their starving engineering staff.

That's so true!

After a flight, cabin crew just pile up the leftovers in the galley so technicians, cleaners and ground staff can take what they want; the rest is then thrown away.

Quoting contrails67 (Thread starter):
Its a pity it can't be given to some food bank or homeless people.

and who's going to bring it to them, you think? Who's gonna cover the transportation bill?

Airlines have a budget for this and I don't think pax will be willing to pay yet another tax so leftovers can be re-distributed after flight.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:16 pm

Out Here It goes to the Children Orphanage & Old Persons Home......Great Idea.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
KELPkid
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Fri Aug 06, 2010 10:33 pm

In the US, food left over from international flights has to be incinerated (along with the trash...).
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Gemuser
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sat Aug 07, 2010 12:23 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 8):
In the US, food left over from international flights has to be incinerated (along with the trash...).

Same in Australia, and very strictly enforced.

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boeing767mech
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sat Aug 07, 2010 3:37 pm

Quoting KELPkid (Reply 8):
In the US, food left over from international flights has to be incinerated (along with the trash...).

It supposed to here but the mechanic recycle it before cartering gets to the airplane. Only good food you can get off a flight is an international flight. The junk they serve on the airplanes now is horrible. It is enough to make a someone not raid the galley anymore.

David
Never under-estimate the predictably of stupidty
 
474218
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sat Aug 07, 2010 4:50 pm

When I worked with the RAF, they would put the left over meals from the Falkland flights in the squadron day room. If I could get there early enough I could maybe score some "steak and kidney pie" or "bangers and mash". Nothing ever went to waste and surly nothing was ever thrown away.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sat Aug 07, 2010 5:57 pm

Quoting charliecossie (Reply 5):
All airlines willingly donate all leftover food to their starving engineering staff.

Not at my airline!!! A big no-no!    If you are caught with that food, you're out the door. This is for the safety of said employee. FDA regulations plays a big role here....
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
474218
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sat Aug 07, 2010 6:31 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 12):
This is for the safety of said employee. FDA regulations plays a big role here....

How would the FDA be involved with airline food that was not consumed during a flight?

Local health departments or the airline on its own could establish rules that would prevent uneaten meals from being sold as new, being recycled (put on another flight) or eaten my an airline employee but the FDA would not be involved.

Every L-1011 built had a "certificate of sanitary construction" for the galleys. That certificate was issued not by the Food and Drug Administration but by the Los Angles County Health Department.
 
charliecossie
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sat Aug 07, 2010 7:36 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 12):
If you are caught with that food, you're out the door.

That would theft, right? Perfectly understood. Same in every airline, I imagine.

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 12):
This is for the safety of said employee.

What? The leftover meals on your airline may harm me? Sheet, I hope I never fly on your airline!

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 12):
FDA regulations plays a big role here....

If your food can hurt me, I doubt that very much.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:49 pm

Quoting charliecossie (Reply 14):
The leftover meals on your airline may harm me?

It has something to do with the food being left out for a period of time in a warm environment. We are not the only airline that has to follow this rule. Other airlines/vendors have to follow this rule as well.

Quoting charliecossie (Reply 14):
If your food can hurt me, I doubt that very much.

Do some research on how food is to be stored and what temps they have to be where you can go get your food handlers permit at your local Health and Safety Department. It is a FDA regulation. I don't make the rules, neither does my airline. The FDA does as well as the USDA.

Quoting 474218 (Reply 13):
How would the FDA be involved with airline food that was not consumed during a flight?

See above.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
474218
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sat Aug 07, 2010 11:59 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 15):
Do some research on how food is to be stored and what temps they have to be where you can go get your food handlers permit at your local Health and Safety Department. It is a FDA regulation. I don't make the rules, neither does my airline. The FDA does as well as the USDA.


Your correct the FDA makes the rules (regulations). However, they "do not" enforce the rules.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sun Aug 08, 2010 12:30 am

Quoting 474218 (Reply 16):
However, they "do not" enforce the rules.

Then who do you think enforces the rules?   
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
etherealsky
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:31 am

Quoting charliecossie (Reply 14):
That would theft, right? Perfectly understood. Same in every airline, I imagine.

I imagine that the airline is more concerned about its employees breaking federal regulations - and the associated fines that accompany those violations.

Quoting charliecossie (Reply 14):

Hopefully someone familiar with the FDA or equivalent regulatory bodies from other countries will reply, but I think the reasoning is along the lines of 'foreign countries do not necessarily apply the same food standards as we do, so it would be wrong to allow that food to be distributed.' And I would assume the only real way to control that food is to make sure it is all disposed of after the flight.

When I say "the same standards" keep in mind that health/quality-of-food concerns might not be the main motivation behind this practice. I'm willing to bet there are more complicated reasons relating to the ability to keep track of where the ingredients were sourced from, the difficulties in preventing food from being 'sold' by third parties if it were to be given away after the flight; etc.

Just my opinion though; I could be totally wrong.

Also, FlyingColours wrote a very interesting post relating to customs regulations in the EU regarding food/BOB stuff:
Stranded Ryanair Passengers Saved By The Police (by OEH68 Jun 25 2010 in Civil Aviation)

(the link should point to reply #21)
"And that's why you always leave a note..."
 
474218
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sun Aug 08, 2010 3:07 am

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 17):
Then who do you think enforces the rules?

The local health departments.
 
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thebatman
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Fri Aug 13, 2010 8:30 am

Quoting contrails67 (Thread starter):
Just wondering what happens to the leftover airline food?

We eat it.

Quoting boeing767mech (Reply 10):
It supposed to here but the mechanics recycle it before cartering gets to the airplane.

Yep - exactly right. If it's edible, we will find it.

Quoting charliecossie (Reply 14):
What? The leftover meals on your airline may harm me? Sheet, I hope I never fly on your airline!

Whatever doesn't kill you - makes you STRONGER.
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luckyone
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sat Aug 14, 2010 9:41 pm

Quoting 474218 (Reply 16):
our correct the FDA makes the rules (regulations). However, they "do not" enforce the rules.
Quoting 474218 (Reply 19):
The local health departments.

Semantics. Should the FDA revoke a permit or certification (and it happens) it effectively halts at the very least that aspect of your business.
 
babybus
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sun Aug 15, 2010 5:40 am

Quoting charliecossie (Reply 5):
All airlines willingly donate all leftover food to their starving engineering staff.

When I was a ramper I'd always have a queue on the airstairs of hungry engineering staff, bus drivers and various other ancilliary staff waiting for me to open the door of an overnight flight with spare unused hot breakfasts.

Naturally I had to inspect the ovens first and take away samples or at least, as many I could squeeze into a bag.

If it's good food, none of it is wasted.
and with that..cabin crew, seats for landing please.
 
MD11Engineer
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sun Aug 15, 2010 9:36 pm

the airlines could care less if some tech gets an iffy stomach after eating a leftover meal, but the main issue is that a lot of people thought that they had a right to take food from an airplane. At a cargo company I worked for, the ramp agents and us engineers were tolerated to help ourselves to leftover food and drinks after a flight, but soon every manb and his dog (even those not working for this airline, like cargo loaders and fuelers) thought that they could just walk up to the flight deck and help themselves.
Another thing was that at the airlines I worked for in the past there were some "never do" rules involved:
1) Never take food from a freshly catered aircraft, only old food from incoming aircraft.
2) Never take any food or drinks out of the airport. Only take what you can consume on the airport
3) (on passenger aircraft)Never touch the customs goods boxes containing alcoholic drinks duty free goods. An occasional pack of coffee for the crewroom was tolerated, but never alcohol. You were not allowed to drink any at the airport anyway, so why take it? Taking such stuff from the airport would make it automatically contraband and the whole thing a customs offense.

But obviously there were plenty of idiots who did not obey these rules ( I knew one mechanic, who too binliners full of softdrink cans home for his family until he got caught) or guys who got caught with bottles of alcoholic drinks or cigarettes and were promply arrested for smuggling. Or other indiots, who walked up on an aircraft ready for departure and raided the galley, so that there wasn´t enough food left for the passengers.
These guys spoiled it for everybody else, since the airline now had to crack down on the issue and made it illegal for everybody to get food and drinks from an aircraft.

Jan
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DocLightning
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:51 am

I read a story once about a lady who ran an operation (at LAX I think) where they composted the leftover food, instead of incinerating it.
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HAWK21M
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:59 am

Quoting MD11Engineer (Reply 25):

Out here Maintenance personnell or others....The Leftover food cannot be touched.Unless officially handed over to the concerned dept.
The catering team takes it back where its handed over to the Children Orphanage or Old persons home.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Mon Aug 16, 2010 4:17 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 28):
The catering team takes it back where its handed over to the Children Orphanage or Old persons home.

How does your Catering department prevent foodborne illnesses when doing that? Isn't that a bad idea to give these organizations the left over food when they have been out in room temp or warmer (IE: spoilage...)?????
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
aogdesk
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Mon Aug 16, 2010 7:13 pm

Back in the day when offloading Pan Am sports charters, they used to let us take EVERYTHING! Steak, shrimp, salads...beer. Plates & utensils....my dinnerware when I was 21 all said Pan Am.
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:19 pm

Quoting aogdesk (Reply 30):
Plates & utensils....my dinnerware when I was 21 all said Pan Am.

Too bad that can't be done anymore. I used to do that as a kid. I am still missing two forks from my AS utensil set. 
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
DashTrash
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Mon Aug 16, 2010 8:36 pm

Quoting aogdesk (Reply 30):
Back in the day when offloading Pan Am sports charters, they used to let us take EVERYTHING! Steak, shrimp, salads...beer. Plates & utensils....my dinnerware when I was 21 all said Pan Am.

You ought to see all the leftovers that are given away after a private jet gets where it's going.
 
SNLH
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Mon Aug 16, 2010 9:02 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 29):
Isn't that a bad idea to give these organizations the left over food when they have been out in room temp or warmer

Wow, I thought the catering carts would be refrigerated ! Has no airline a refrigerated ? But how do they keep then the fruit nice and fresh on a long haul flight ?
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Mon Aug 16, 2010 10:08 pm

Quoting SNLH (Reply 33):
But how do they keep then the fruit nice and fresh on a long haul flight ?

Dry Ice. That is all I can say.
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Wed Aug 25, 2010 3:04 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 29):

How does your Catering department prevent foodborne illnesses when doing that? Isn't that a bad idea to give these organizations the left over food when they have been out in room temp or warmer (IE: spoilage...)?????

The Catering Dept that offloads the food has their personell certify its quality status before its moved to these homes.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
AirframeAS
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Thu Aug 26, 2010 7:51 pm

Quoting HAWK21M (Reply 35):

Do you guys not have Health Departments at all??
A Safe Flight Begins With Quality Maintenance On The Ground.
 
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HAWK21M
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sun Sep 05, 2010 8:01 pm

Quoting AirframeAS (Reply 36):

Do you guys not have Health Departments at all??

The Catering department has a rep that is answerable to Food & Drug Authority [FDA] under the Ministry of health,No Direct control.
regds
MEL.
I may not win often, but I damn well never lose!!! ;)
 
ReidYYZ
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RE: What Happens To Leftover Airline Meals?

Sun Sep 12, 2010 5:40 am

I consider stuffing my face after an arrival as a non taxable benefit (humor detector on. No, Revenue Canada does not have a box 985 on T4 slips to report consumption of said foodstuffs). On shift, at any time of day I carry:slotted screwdriver, multi-tip screwdriver, flashlight and fork. I do also have certain guidelines by which I will engage in pounding back the nutritional contraband.

1) It goes without saying, fresh catered food for outbound is an absolute No-No: most flights are catered by the load, if something is missing there will be a delay in waiting for replacement. This never happens as a result of early eating, it is only the result of a mis-count by the kitchen or the order from the carrier.

2) I still bring a lunch every day, you can't ever count on an over catered situation or a group of 'I'm not eating THAT" calorie counters shunning what the fine Ladies and Gentlemen cooked up, slaving over a hot stove in the galley.

3) I only eat what I do on board. I don't take any for later, for someone else...etc. I usually walk off empty handed..... but usually chewing: on an arrival, the aircraft is sitting at a gate, and most likely with a boarding lounge full of people. With Youspace, MyTube, Twitbook and Faceter, I don't provide anyone any opportunity to film or photo me that I would have to explain later, and it kind of looks bad "WHY IS HE EATING THAT MINI PIZZA AND NOT FIXING OUR AIRPLANE??"

4) I only eat from Business class, as it is a better class of meal. But also for the mere fact that the service happens on larger trays. Unmolested meals are easier to spot on larger trays. If anything is out of place, down to the post meal chocolate waffer, I pass. If all is there, then it was never distributed, so nobody coughed on it or poked it with their filthy finger.

5) I don't eat in front of the departing flight crew (after the flight, departing for home), or the seagulls (will explain later) as I again don't want to provide anyone with a story to tell.

6) Although it is #6, probably one of the more important ones. I DON'T FEED THE SEAGULLS. At my company there is a handling company that provides cabin services. In this elite group of courteous, respectful, good work ethic minded individuals, there is an even smaller collection of...of...seagulls. They vary from the subtle "Heyyy, what's thaaaaaat" to the out right gutsy just-pull-the-sandwich-from-your-hand types. There is even the occasional "you find me fork, water..." demand for service. If I'm not done eating by the time the seagulls show up, I lose my appetite and run away screaming. They will stuff pillow cases with anything not nailed down. Even things that can be reused: bags of candies, cartons of juice, cans of pop, bottled water...etc.

7) My latest rule is now that I'm over 40 and getting all fat and shit, I try to stick to the fruit.

Am I concerned about getting in trouble for eating? Not really. A few weeks ago, our President was just sniffing around the base, making local management nervous (it's good for them, keeps them alert) and he walked on an aircraft fresh from overseas. One of our guys was filling up on fresh baked cookies, sees the Prez and just says "this is the best thing you have ever put on board..." Did he get in trouble, no. So, no I'm not too concerned.

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