Air China gives out-of-date food to passengers

Old Oct 8, 13, 12:42 am
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Air China gives out-of-date food to passengers

So I read in the news that Air China has been caught issuing out-of-date food to their passengers. But is this really such a big deal? Or is it only a storm in a teacup? After all, airline food these days are barely edible anyway (for cattle class). Yes, food safety is of paramount importance, but I'm not sure if the out-of-date label is the cause.

Air China is of course denying they made a mistake:

http://www.scmp.com/news/china-insid...ef-pancake-row

Air China, a leading carrier in the mainland, has denied accusations that it fed passengers on a domestic flight out-of-date beef pancakes, making at least a dozen sick.

In a telephone interview with SCMP.com on Tuesday, an Air China spokeswoman said an investigation had revealed that incorrect packaging was to blame for the “misunderstanding.” She said Air China routinely discards leftover and out-of-date food and would never recyle them for reuse.

The news has made national headlines in China after a passenger on a Sunday flight from Xinjiang’s Hami city to Beijing shared her unfortunate dining experience on popular social media site Weibo.

A photo of the packaged food she posted shows an expiration date of October 2, four days before her flight date.

“Look twice when you eat any food from Air China in the future,” she warned in her post that later caught the attention of reporters.

The passenger, identified by her surname as Wang, later told Chinese media that one toddler vomited soon after eating the pancake and at least 20 adults suffered sickness and had to use the toilet.

Wang said she was upset that even after passengers pointed out the problem to flight attendants, they refused to warn everyone of the "expired" food.

One flight attendant flatly denied there was a problem, and told passengers the food provider had used wrong labels. But Wang, unconvinced, demanded an aplogy and filed a complaint immediately after she landed.

In an official statement issued by the carrier early Tuesday morning, Air China said an internal investigation showed that workers had mistakenly packaged the pancakes with bags used for food offered in domestic flights of shorter distances. Food offered on the Xinjiang-Beijing route is different and lasts much longer, it said.


So, would you consider getting out-of-date food a serious matter or not?

Last edited by WindowSeat123; Oct 9, 13 at 11:33 am
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Old Oct 8, 13, 1:28 am
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Originally Posted by WindowSeat123 View Post
So, would you consider getting out-of-date food a serious matter or not?
expired by 4 days? Assuming modern processed food production that was heated for use properly? wouldn't be concerned in the slightest. Most of that stuff should be good for months past the use by date.

That said, the airline shouldn't be serving it.
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Old Oct 8, 13, 10:14 am
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Originally Posted by SeriouslyLost View Post
expired by 4 days? Assuming modern processed food production that was heated for use properly? wouldn't be concerned in the slightest. Most of that stuff should be good for months past the use by date.

That said, the airline shouldn't be serving it.
As long as it doesn't affect higher ranking CCP members travelling with them, nobody at mighty CA will care the slightest bit. But then I would expect they are catered for differently from other passengers.
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Old Oct 8, 13, 1:21 pm
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Old Oct 8, 13, 2:23 pm
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Originally Posted by SeriouslyLost View Post
Most of that stuff should be good for months past the use by date
You say this based on China or Western standards ?

I'll have the fish
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Old Oct 8, 13, 2:27 pm
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I'm not very convinced about the mislabeled packing expaination. How can a FA be so sure that it's mislabeled and not truly expired food?

In either case food poisoning is always going to be a risk and I don't think that four days make any difference. I won't see it as a big deal but it would have been nice if Air China apologized rather than trying to come up with an excuse.
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Old Oct 8, 13, 11:01 pm
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Originally Posted by zerolife View Post
I'm not very convinced about the mislabeled packing expaination. How can a FA be so sure that it's mislabeled and not truly expired food?

In either case food poisoning is always going to be a risk and I don't think that four days make any difference. I won't see it as a big deal but it would have been nice if Air China apologized rather than trying to come up with an excuse.
Well I'm not sure if the mislabeling is really the cause here for Air China, but I agree food poisoning can be a serious matter. Just imagine a plane with 300 passengers all getting sick and needing to use the toilet more or at less at the same time. Nasty. Many passengers probably can't hold it long and will just do it on their seats. Diarrhea on 200 seats on a plane...
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Old Oct 9, 13, 1:02 am
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Originally Posted by Virginia Emery View Post
You say this based on China or Western standards ? I'll have the fish
I put all the riders needed in there. I wouldn't be concerned about food poisoning from the meals. Lead and heavy metal or toxic waste poisoning, maybe, but not food poisoning.
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Old Oct 9, 13, 2:29 am
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Yeah, this is only because they print dates on the food.

I wouldn't be surprised if other carriers have "expired" foodstuff just don't print dates on them.
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Old Oct 9, 13, 11:31 am
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Air China gives out-of-date food to passengers

I'd bet it's the production date not the expiry date printed on the package. Nowadays everyone with a weibo account is a crusader for justice and the Chinese dream :-)
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Old Oct 9, 13, 2:41 pm
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I did not know they could complain in China, I thought they would have brought the firing squad onto the plane and kept everyone quiet and out of the media.
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Old Oct 9, 13, 9:22 pm
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Originally Posted by djjaguar64 View Post
I did not know they could complain in China, I thought they would have brought the firing squad onto the plane and kept everyone quiet and out of the media.
Hehehe, I think that's North Korea...
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Old Oct 10, 13, 5:04 pm
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Originally Posted by travelinmanS View Post
I'd bet it's the production date not the expiry date printed on the package. Nowadays everyone with a weibo account is a crusader for justice and the Chinese dream :-)
You aren't very good at betting. The photo clearly shows (ok, not very clearly but if you squint) two sets of dates: 13/09/29 followed by 13/10/02 on the bottom. I'd leave it to you to figure out which one is possibly the Production date and which the Best-By or Expiry.

It's definitely past the Best-By date by Oct. 04. Given the short window of consumption it's a perishable item, not a simple cake or cookie etc. which could be perfectly edible even past the Best-By or Expiry dates.

EDIT: Looks like the Chinese writing actually states it's some sort of pastry. It probably has some form of cream filler that entails a short shelf life. It's not as bad as if it was meat or poultry but still pretty bad on CA...

Last edited by payam81; Oct 10, 13 at 9:04 pm
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Old Oct 11, 13, 4:54 pm
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I am not a bit surprised by this after being served a stale sandwich on board Air China flight from Beijing to Kunming earlier this year.
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