Do Pilots Need to Eat Different Meals from Each Other?
At many airlines, food is provided for the pilots to eat during the course of their flying duty. This may be the same food offered to the passengers or crew specific catering.
Historically, pilots were required to ensure they ate different meals in case the food gave them food poisoning. Having different meals helped to ensure that if one pilot got food poisoning, the other didn’t and could still fly the aircraft. However, the chances of both pilots now suffering from food poisoning due to eating the food onboard is so rare that it is no longer a requirement. Therefore, pilots don’t need to eat different meals from each other. However, some airlines still recommend the pilots eat different meals.
What Happens if the Pilot gets Food Poisoning?
If a pilot was unable to continue safely operating the aircraft due to food poisoning, it would be classed as a pilot incapacitation. Both pilots and the cabin crew are trained in what to do if this occurs. A full pilot incapacitation would result in a May Day call being made to air traffic control and the aircraft landing at the nearest suitable airport.