The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) has directed all airlines and flight caterers to stricly comply with food safety regulations and take prompt corrective actions to minimise food safety-related incidents.

In a recent meeting, FSSAI CEO G Kamala Vardhana Rao directed airlines and flight catereres to comply with labelling and display regulations to ensure passengers get information about the nature, origin and manufacturing-related details regarding the the food served during flights.

“The Food Safety and Standards Authority of India (FSSAI) convened a meeting with leading flight caterers and airlines on January 16, 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 official statement released on Thursday stated.

In the meeting FSSAI officials emphasised on the importance of swift and effective handling of consumer grievances. Airlines caterers were also asked to establish a robust mechanism to take corrective and preventive measures to minimise food safety-related incidents. The Authority emphasised that airlines and caterer play a critical role in the safety of passengers.

“Acknowledging a common concern regarding the lack of readily available information for passengers regarding inflight food, the CEO, FSSAI directed all flight caterers and airlines to strictly comply with sub-regulation 5(10) (f) and 8(4) of the Food Safety and Standards (Labelling and Display) Regulations, 2020. This directive aims to improve transparency by providing passengers with detailed information about the nature, origin and manufacturing-related details of the food served during flights,” the official statement added. The stakeholders were also asked to focus on menu labelling as a tool to inform passengers of the contents of the food served enabling them to make informed choices.

“During the discussion, the need for specialized training programs for catering staff to ensure a comprehensiveunderstanding of food safety and hygiene practices was given emphasis,” the FSSAI added.

Recently, a passenger complained about finding worms in her sandwich aboard a flight, which prompted FSSAI to send showcause notice to the airline