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Everything You Should Know About Hygiene Inflight Catering

aviation catering

When airlines started serving inflight meals, a new industry—inflight catering—was formed in the culinary field. People working in airline or inflight catering handle everything from planning menus to getting prepackaged meals on the plane. But his field entailed more than just cooking meals—it probably comes as no big surprise that most of the preparation of airline meals takes place before the flight, on the ground, so airlines also have to worry about maintaining proper hygiene in all the right stations as well as serving food that is safe for passengers to consume. This article takes a look at how cleanliness is maintained in the inflight catering business and provides solutions to some of the common problems faced. 

Surface Hygiene Inflight Catering

Inflight catering food is designed to be reheated. These on-the-ground facilities will prepare, cook, and package large quantities of meals. Depending on the type of food, after cooking, it will either be chilled or frozen until it is reheated onboard (usually within ten hours of preparation). A lot of food, including most meats, are carefully partially cooked. The reheating process will then take over the final part of the cooking.

inflight catering aviation singapore

While being transported, the pre-packed food, therefore, comes in contact with multiple surfaces throughout its journey. Airlines staff and people working in the manufacturers keep in handy in-flight cleaning chemicals to rid any surface with which the food comes in contact free of germs and bacteria. If passengers consume contaminated food, they can very well get sick on board or after their flight, tarnishing the reputation of the airlines and the food manufacturers. 

A surface cleaner can work wonders to remove any existing traces of germs and bacteria, as well as help you eliminate offensive odors. Here is what we recommend:


Biological Multi-Surface Cleaner & Deodoriser

KLEENZYME is a technically advanced combination of microorganisms and soil-destroying enzymes with penetrants and surfactants that produce the ultimate safe cleaner and deodorizer for all surfaces. 

KLEENZYME breaks down odor-causing organic matter instead of just masking it like what many air fresheners are designed for.

Equipment Hygiene Inflight Catering

inflight catering utensils and equipment cleaner

Once onboard, the chilled inflight catering food needs to be heated using the aircraft ovens. Each type of dish will have instructions for its reheating and preparation. For most economy meals, reheating simply takes place in the provided tray. For more luxurious premium cabin meals, they will often be reheated in a provided tray and then transferred to other dishes for serving.

For the airline’s staff and inflight catering manufacturers, equipment and utensil disinfection is one of the top priorities. It is to not only keep germs at bay but also to ensure the proper functioning and longevity of the equipment being used. 

We recommend using a disinfectant specifically meant for the internal surfaces of aircraft. 


Disinfectant Cleaner and Deodorant

NOVIRUCLEAN RTU1/30 is an ultra-broad spectrum bactericidal, yeasticidal, and viricidal spray & wipe disinfectant cleaner that is effective against the most common disease-causing organisms often found in public transports, public areas, and hospitals, e.g., Flu, influenza A, H1N1, SARS, MERS, Coronavirus. 

NOVIRUCLEAN RTU1/30 effectively cleans, deodorizes, and disinfects all hard surfaces, reducing bacteria, yeast, and virus contamination.

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Tackle Spills and Stains Inflight Catering

spills and stains inflight catering aviation flight

There is a high chance of spills—often resulting in stains—on moving vehicles, and the aircraft is no exception. Very often, turbulence on flight causes coffee or tea to spill, children to knock over their trays, or airplane stewards can accidentally drop a food item or two.

For such mishaps, it is always a good idea to stay prepared with a general or an all-purpose cleaner nearby. Inflight catering companies, as well as airport staff, acknowledge the usefulness of a general purpose cleaner. 


General Purpose Cleaner

SUNSHINE is a premium multi-purpose neutral detergent formulated to clean all water-washable surfaces in aircraft cabin interiors. 

SUNSHINE is a versatile product that may be used as an economical solution for exterior aircraft washing.

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Taking Measures to Control COVID-19

inglight catering covid 19 hygiene and cleaning

As with other ground service providers, the COVID-19 global pandemic posed unprecedented challenges to catering companies. During which, the health and safety standards in the inflight catering cycle tightened – from food preparation to delivery and on the aircraft itself. As a result, the personnel involved in inflight catering operations had to raise efficiency to the highest levels. Even contact points in the catering kitchen were minimized or eliminated.

Though now we are slowly witnessing the resumption of restaurant facilitations, inflight catering companies adapted to challenges presented by the pandemic by utilizing enhanced hygiene products to clean fold-out tables and even windows, where food crumbs and spills can often be detected. 

Therefore, we recommend using spray cleaners for the specific purpose of cleaning such surfaces, as the possibility of an unanticipated pandemic always looms above us while Covid-19 still impacts society. 


Window Cleaner
GLASS ACT is ammonia free non-streaking mirror and window cleaner. 
GLASS ACT penetrates quickly to lift and dissolve dirt deposits, weather and smoke films, oily stains, insect remains, smudges, and fingerprints from glass and glazed surfaces.


Polishing Cleaner
RELION is a premium quality polishing cleaner that will give an outstanding shine to hard surfaces in vehicles and aircraft interiors as well as household furniture. 
RELION has a delicate fragrance making it pleasant to use and ideal for those areas in which it is vital to give a good impression. 

Taking Measures to Control COVID-19


Like what you’ve read so far? Take a look at ORAPI’s aviation MRO page, where we have detailed all the solutions for aviation MRO, process, and maintenance. On this page, you’ll not only have access to guides and information on how to maintain equipment in top-notch condition but also find ORAPI’s comprehensive range of consumables for cleaning and disinfection and maintenance of machines and equipment to deliver credible performance. 

Orapi, the leading provider of professional hygiene & industrial maintenance solutions, is recognized and used by over 50 airlines and aviation MRO companies worldwide. 


Inflight catering involves the joint efforts of multiple businesses and their employees—airport staff, catering companies and manufacturers, transportation, stewards and flight attendants, chefs, food handlers, and more—and collectively, they take the initiative to maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness throughout the entire process. This collective effort has resulted in the success of in-flight catering. But upgrading to better-quality products is a big step in the airplane food and preparation sector. 

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