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.