Travelling by air is part and parcel of the fast-paced world that we live in. With air travel comes the gamut of airline dining, which food experts and food authorities regularly express their concern about. Whether it is the food’s hygienic content, or the manner in which it is prepared, or even how it is stored and transported – food in airplanes has come under the lens more than once. If the latest research about flight food is to be believed, you may actually consider eating before your flight, than on board.

First of all, the food served in the airlines is prepared on ground and then lifted off to the planes, where it is served after a good amount of time. Moreover, the sheer scale at which the food is produced makes it difficult to maintain the quality of each meal that is served. The number of meals produced by a single airport catering facility can range anywhere from 12,000 to 15,000 meals a day, as the report suggests. Further, meals served in airplanes are subject to scrutiny only once in five years; leaving rooms for below quality food being served.

Roy Costa, an environmental health and food inspector, says, “Outbreaks from airline food are challenging to identify because the people get dispersed into various locations.” Airline food is also touted to be one of the leading causes for food poisoning among Americans, as estimated by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention.

Thus, next time you’re in a dilemma whether to eat before your flight or during it, think twice and weigh in your options before finalizing your meal.