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afterburner
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Meals from Cancelled Flights

Thu Dec 19, 2019 1:36 pm

If a flight is cancelled, especially the ones that use large aircraft such as A380 or 747, what usually happens to the meals that have been prepared for it? Also, if a flight is delayed, how long until the catering company has to prepare a new set of meals for the flight because the ones that have been prepared are considered not good to consume anymore?

Thanks.
 
Okie
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Re: Meals from Cancelled Flights

Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:02 pm

I am not sure of the hold over time allowed which is fine if it stored at the correct temps.

I can tell you that in the past that I have been on a couple of flights outside of the US that the food was on the arriving aircraft from the US for the return trip.

ORD-PEK is about 16hrs. So considering the prep time looks like at least 24hrs it is just fine.
If it is refrigerated and then heated on the aircraft then days.

So I expect it depends.

All food that arrives in the US that is to be discarded has to be burned in a special high temp incinerator. That is typical in many countries.

Okie
 
ConnectAir
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Re: Meals from Cancelled Flights

Thu Dec 19, 2019 3:14 pm

Okie wrote:
I am not sure of the hold over time allowed which is fine if it stored at the correct temps.
Okie


Hold over times for a delay of a few hours should not be an issue. Planes do not have regular refrigerators like we would have in our homes, so the issue becomes does the aircraft have enough ice/dry ice to maintain the food at those safe temps. As long as it has enough dry ice, from a public health microbiology perspective their should be no safety issue with keeping the meals on a delayed flight.

If the flight is cancelled, the food might have to be tossed. This is because at least under US laws once food has left a kitchen it cannot be returned to the kitchen and served again.
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Tristarsteve
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Re: Meals from Cancelled Flights

Thu Dec 19, 2019 6:21 pm

I was amazed how long food lasts. The trolleys have packets of dry ice at the top (frozen CO2), and last for hours. Catering reps use infrared thermometers to check, and it always seems to be OK.
BA caters nearly all short haul flights at LHR. When you board a flight at ATH, the food you eat has sat on the plane since it left LHR. The same with most RON aircraft. The breakfast is loaded at LHR the night before on the outbound flight!
 
unimproved
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Re: Meals from Cancelled Flights

Fri Dec 20, 2019 7:10 am

ConnectAir wrote:
Okie wrote:
I am not sure of the hold over time allowed which is fine if it stored at the correct temps.
Okie


Hold over times for a delay of a few hours should not be an issue. Planes do not have regular refrigerators like we would have in our homes, so the issue becomes does the aircraft have enough ice/dry ice to maintain the food at those safe temps. As long as it has enough dry ice, from a public health microbiology perspective their should be no safety issue with keeping the meals on a delayed flight.

If the flight is cancelled, the food might have to be tossed. This is because at least under US laws once food has left a kitchen it cannot be returned to the kitchen and served again.

The dry ice is for storage and transport. Most aircraft have air chillers installed in the galley.
 
ConnectAir
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Re: Meals from Cancelled Flights

Fri Dec 20, 2019 2:48 pm

unimproved wrote:
Most aircraft have air chillers installed in the galley


I was on a flight recently that was delayed because they did not have enough dry ice to keep all the food fresh. Based on this, in some models of aircraft, I think both the air chillers and dry ice play a role in maintaining a safe temperature.
That being said, in a plane that has only air chillers, as long as the chillers can operate and maintain food at a safe temperature, their should be no safety issues with keeping the food through a delay.
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zeke
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Re: Meals from Cancelled Flights

Fri Dec 20, 2019 3:00 pm

Older aircraft the standard was 7 deg C now it’s below 4 deg C. Aircraft like the A380, 787, A350 have secondary cooling loops for the galleys.
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