Study Warns Against Drinking Coffee, Tea, and Water on Airplanes

“So water is just sitting for long periods of time in what appear to be not-so-clean tanks.”

Study Warns Against Drinking Coffee, Tea, and Water on Airplanes

Pexels (CC)

(Hugo Martin, Los Angeles Times) The food served on airlines is not as fattening as it used to be, but passengers might want to stay clear of the water.

A study found that the average food choice offered by commercial airlines in the U.S. — including snacks, entrees and drinks — has fewer calories this year than in the past two years.

The average number of calories per menu choice on U.S.-based carriers rose from 392 calories in 2016 to 405 calories last year but dropped to 373 calories this year, a 32 percent calorie decline over last year, according to the study from the Hunter College New York City Food Policy Center.

The calorie count dropped because airlines have replaced foods such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with salads and began offering new options including oatmeal for breakfast and vegan lunches, the study said.

The study also warned passengers to avoid the tap water, coffee and tea served on a plane, saying there may be harmful bacteria in the water that comes from various municipal systems and is stored in the airplane’s tanks.

“There are a couple of reliable researchers who believe there may be harmful bacteria in airline water,” the study said. “This is probably because the water tanks are not emptied very often (you would think they’d be emptied and cleaned at least once a day, but this is not so). So water is just sitting for long periods of time in what appear to be not-so-clean tanks.”

A spokesman for a trade group that represents the nation’s biggest carriers responded to the report saying airlines ensure that their water is safe by “following rigorous sampling and management requirements, which include periodic disinfection and flushing of the aircraft water tanks on a schedule required by regulations.”

©2018 Los Angeles Times. Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.