Airlines have to feed thousands of passengers every day. They rely on central kitchens at airports to prepare airline meals. A popular dish at one airline might need to be prepared 5,000 times a day, per airline.
There have been various documented cases of food poisoning from airline food. The US Food and Drug Administration has issued nearly 1,500 food safety citations to the three major airline caterers (Gate Group, Flying Food Group, LSG Sky Chefs) and 16 airlines since October 2008, according to an NBC News investigation. NBC found that 500 of these cases were related to contamination or sanitation violations, but none were severe enough for the FDA to shut down a catering facility. Part of the reason for these violations is that a long period of time passes between food preparation, loading onto the aircraft, and consumption by passengers. During this time, the food is prone to bacteria growing on it.
To fight against bacterial infection among passengers and reduce the risk of further citations, airlines are using aqueous ozone to prewash produce served on flights from these airport central kitchens. This also helps eliminates residues from pesticides that can potentially harm humans. Aqueous ozone as a disinfection method is not only more effective than chemical disinfection agents but also safe for people and the environment. After removing bacteria and pesticides from produce, aqueous ozone reverts to oxygen, creating safer meals and bringing a dramatic drop in both infection and citations among airlines and their passengers without harm to the environment.