FSSAI directs airline caterers to comply with food safety regulations

Regulator highlights lack of readily available information for passengers regarding inflight food; directions to caterers comes after showcause issued to IndiGo for allegedly serving unsafe inflight food

Updated - January 17, 2024 07:13 pm IST

Published - January 17, 2024 06:59 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Image used for representative purpose only.

Image used for representative purpose only. | Photo Credit: PTI

Having issued a show cause notice to IndiGo after a passenger complained about a worm crawling in a sandwich served on a December 29 flight, the Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) met with leading flight caterers and airlines earlier this week to evaluate and enhance the existing food safety protocols within the airline catering industry. 

“The objective was to identify areas requiring improvement and to reinforce the commitment to providing passengers with safe and high-quality inflight meals,” an FSSAI release said on Wednesday.

Acknowledging concerns about the lack of readily available information on inflight food, the Authority has also highlighted the importance of menu labelling as a powerful tool to inform passengers about the contents of the food served, enabling them to make informed choices.

‘Worm in a sandwich’

A letter previously accessed by The Hindu said that IndiGo has been directed to show cause within seven days from the date of issue of the letter (January 2) as to why their license should not be considered for suspension or cancellation and action be initiated as per the FSS Act, 2006.

An IndiGo passenger, Kushboo Gupta, flying on 6E 6107 from Delhi to Mumbai had taken to social media and complained about a worm crawling in a sandwich that the airline served her onboard a flight. “Despite informing the airline staff about worms in the sandwich, the cabin crew continued to serve these sandwiches to other passengers,” Ms. Gupta said in the video.

Labelling, training needed

FSSAI has directed all flight caterers and airlines to strictly comply with the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020 which aims to improve transparency by providing passengers with details about the nature, origin and manufacture of the food served during flights. 

“In the meeting, the importance of swift and effective handling of consumer grievances were stressed upon and the airline caterers were urged to establish robust mechanisms for prompt resolution, including corrective and preventive actions to minimise food safety related incidents. The crucial role of the industry in ensuring the safety and satisfaction of passengers was also highlighted,” the FSSAI statement said.

The need for specialised training programs for catering staff to ensure a comprehensive understanding of food safety and hygiene practices was also emphasised.

0 / 0
Sign in to unlock member-only benefits!
  • Access 10 free stories every month
  • Save stories to read later
  • Access to comment on every story
  • Sign-up/manage your newsletter subscriptions with a single click
  • Get notified by email for early access to discounts & offers on our products
Sign in


Comments have to be in English, and in full sentences. They cannot be abusive or personal. Please abide by our community guidelines for posting your comments.

We have migrated to a new commenting platform. If you are already a registered user of The Hindu and logged in, you may continue to engage with our articles. If you do not have an account please register and login to post comments. Users can access their older comments by logging into their accounts on Vuukle.