Foodborne illness is a growing concern in the U.S., and one that flight departments and FBOs should take seriously. According to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there are approximately 48 million cases each year in the U.S., 128,000 of them severe enough to require hospitalization, 3,000 of them fatal. Travel medical services provider MedAire notes that gastrointestinal illness accounts for the largest percentage of calls from its private aviation customers, with 77 percent of them regarding passengers.
DeliSky, the Swiss international inflight catering service provider, announced that it has launched an iPad and iPhone App to augment its unique online catering order system, which is available at more than 120 airports worldwide. The company provides catering from dozens of carefully vetted sources, including high-end restaurants and caterers.
Daniel Hulme is vice chairman of the European Corporate Flight Attendant’s Committee (ECFAC) and helping to moderate the Cabin Crew Symposium here at EBACE (see box), but he is also here this year as managing director of London-based caterer Alison Price On Air where some big changes are being made.
UK-based Alison Price On Air has expanded and restructured its aviation catering, offering a new Brasserie-style menu to meet the needs of its international client base. The new selections are designed to be simple and convenient to pack and easy to serve, while retaining high quality. The menu features traditional Brasserie dishes, including Italian osso buco and scallop and crab macaroni. Alison Price On Air is also in talks with top restaurants in London to offer “branded” Russian and Nigerian meals.
As a co-owner of Tastefully Yours, a large Atlanta-based business aviation caterer, Amanda Kraft had for years bemoaned the fact that packaging and storage materials were anything but catering friendly–too big, too bulky, too heavy, too expensive and often “just plain ugly.”
Finally fed up with packing orders in giant plastic containers that were too large to store anywhere but the baggage bay and were available only in quantities of 1,000, she embarked on a voyage of discovery. Her solution is a new business called Airware.
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.
Atlanta-based in-flight caterer Tastefully Yours launched a range of short-flight catering boxes, as the company sees a shift away from menus offering heavy meals with larger portion sizes to lighter fare and smaller servings that require no onboard preparation or reheating. Each menu choice has been planned to consider the increased number of requests for low-fat, low-salt and low-cholesterol diets. The light-fare catering boxes are available with breakfast, lunch and dinner menu items.
Business aviation in-flight catering provider Air Chef Holdings has rebranded all of its divisions under one new name, Air Culinaire Worldwide (Booth No. 3024) and moved its headquarters earlier this month from Columbus, Ohio, to Tampa, Fla. Air Chef was founded in Columbus in 2000 by Paul Schweitzer, Air Culinaire’s current president, after he departed from NetJets as its vice president of vendor services. While at NetJets, he observed that the business aviation catering business was “fragmented,” so he formed Air Chef to help consolidate this segment.
How could sending your dirty plates to the fixed base operation (FBO) after a flight to have them washed in a dishwasher be lethal? All too easily, according to catering safety expert Paula Kraft, principal of Atlanta, Georgia-based Aviation Catering Consultants. If the ground handler services the lavatory, then takes his gloves off and brings your clean crockery back to the aircraft, he may, for example, unwittingly contaminate the fresh dishes with invisible fecal particles. Kraft spoke at EBACE on Wednesday May 16 on how to avoid such catastrophes.
With record business-aviation traffic expected to descend on London for this summer’s 2012 Olympic Games, Air Culinaire (Stand 2366) is expanding its kitchen there to ensure it can keep pace with the anticipated demand for in-flight catering.
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