No Ice For You!
In a surprise move to no one, the FDA has sent Horizon Air a letter warning them that they should not be serving food or drinks with ice onboard since their employees do not have a proper sink to wash their hands, as is required of employees who handle food.
None of their over 50 Bombardier aircraft have sinks. Instead, Horizon Air (Owned by Alaska Air Group) provides a hand sanitizer in the lavatories, which according to the FDA guidelines is insufficient to prevent the spread of communicable disease.
This letter is not the first of its kind, since the FDA has been in contact with Horizon about this and other issues, however the airline has continued handling food and beverages without following the recommendations. In their letter, the FDA writes:
Directing your employees to wash their hands in the airport between flights or to use hand sanitizer does not meet the requirements for suitable lavatory facilities for food-handling employees. We recommend that you discontinue the use of ice and serve only food and beverages that are in closed containers.
Alaska’s response is, as quoted by the Seattle Times, that Flight attendants will be required to sanitize their hands with what the company described as hospital-grade disinfectant and then immediately put on food-service gloves before pouring drinks.
Because nothing says top notch in-flight service like someone wearing hazmat gloves and the sensual scent of eau d’Hospital…