Along with the ample opportunities to network and meet with current and potential vendors, attendees at last month’s NBAA Schedulers and Dispatchers Conference had a slate of educational sessions led by industry experts to choose from, in this year’s case 29 in all, and among the offerings were several safety and emergency-themed seminars.
The threat of food-borne illness at 41,000 feet is all too real, and one the business aviation industry takes all too lightly, says Paula Kraft, a principal with Aviation Catering Consultants (ACC) of Atlanta.
According to in-flight medical emergency services specialist MedAire, 60 percent of its calls are related to gastrointestinal illnesses. That number leaves no doubt that food-handling standards should be just as rigorous as those that apply to aircraft maintenance, asserts Kraft.
Imagine a corporate aircraft cleaning crew discovering germs like E. coli, listeria, hepatitis and a few staph infections on the company airplane as they prepare it for the next trip? Paula Kraft, CEO of Atlanta Ga.-based Aviation Catering Consultants (ACC), conducted research on more than three dozen international airplanes (most of them U.S.-based) and found some of these germs on the control wheels, in the galley and in the lavatory.
In his eight-volume work, Physiology of Taste, French lawyer, magistrate, politician and gastronome Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin wrote, “Animals feed themselves, men eat; but only wise men know the art of eating.” He wrote those words in 1825, and still they contain a certain truth, particularly in the cabin of today’s business aircraft.
Erica Sheward’s long-awaited book Aviation Food Safety is now available from Blackwell Publishing, 9600 Garsington Road, Oxford OX4 2DK, England, telephone +44 1865 776868, or contact Castle Kitchens at +44 1903 891400, www.castle kitchens.com. Sheward is technical director for Castle Kitchens and a long-time advocate of safety in food handling in the aviation industry.