Aviation catering : a matter of safety & security

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20 January 2015 by bizavcatering

Western countries and France are currently going through a very difficult situation putting aviation on the age. Terrorism is the new plague we have to seriously fight against and all aspects of our everyday work and private life have to incorporate new habits. Safety is becoming THE priority by anticipating all aspects of what you do to avoid a serious crisis : all what you are doing has direct a consequence on safety…

Aviation catering is of course one of the main aspect of the aviation concerned by safety, but very often under estimated. Why is that ? Catering does concern both crews and passengers directly delivered inside the aircraft ; if you take a minute to think of it, food can be one of the worse vector of damages in flight…

1-    Safety & security certifications

Therefore, no more option for a professionnal FA to check if the catering you choose is mainly or totally dedicated to aviation. An aviation catering company must strictly follow safety & security norms… But, you have to go a bit further : is the aviation catering company safety and security certified ?

Working for the aviation industry, western aviation catering companies must follow very strict laws and processes to secure food from production until delivery. To know if your supplier is on line with this regulation, you have to get access to the official list given by the authority in charge of it in each country. For France, here is the link :
http://www.developpement-durable.gouv.fr/IMG/pdf/5_Liste_des_fournisseurs_habilites_version_31122014.pdf

To help you with this chart, 2 examples :

  • if a company is located in 2 different locations/airports with 2 different addresses, the company should be listed twice, once for each address.
  • if a company is located in two places in one airport, for example kitchen on one location and storage other location, there must be 2 lines in the chart. Look at it carefully, it is full of information…

If you choose or were given by an intermediary a local airline catering company not in the list or not fulfiling the safety regulation: run. Do not even think of giving a chance to try it. In the dark context we are going through, it is far too risky…

Good news is, this list is always up-dated, so you have to check it very often. Bad news, you have to go further to make sure the company selected is going to bring your order safe…

How to make it ?!

2-    Audit

A safety/security audit is the only way to know if the airline catering is following safety laws and processes. This audit must be done every year checking all aspects of security & safety.

Unfortunately, the aviation industry is facing a big issue : some companies are attracted by private aviation industry taking it as an easy way to make money with no respect of safety laws and rules.

As a FA, you have no time to make an audit in all and each airport you are flying from. Ask your FBO, he must have done it ; it is part of its duty to make an audit of all the suppliers acting on the tarmac.

In case you would be influenced by someone to use an airline catering company that is not fulfilling with safety & security, the both of you would be responsible of the teffible consequences. Does it worth it ? Of course not so do not play with fire, consequences are too high.

So think twice, your passengers are VIP who are influencers of the world of today and tomorrow, they are therefore potential targets of terrorism. Do not facilitate the terrorists goal, keep safety & security first in mind only checking the safety & security certification and the FBO audit… and you can carry on.

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