Would you like your meal warmed up – or on fire? This was every bit the reality for passengers of Qantas, whose in-flight economy meals were reportedly found scorched inside ovens onboard.
According to the Daily Mail, prior to takeoff about two weeks ago, flight attendants had heated cardboard boxes full of pastries and sandwiches in convection ovens at the correct temperature of 275 degrees Celsius. Shortly after, they noticed the boxes had burst into flames and they were then forced to douse the fire with a fire extinguisher.
Photographs show several seared packages with a large hole burnt through one of the meal boxes. This incident sparked an influx of other photographs – taken on several occasions – of burnt meal boxes, sent for review to the Flight Attendants Association of Australia (FAAA).
For several weeks, the FAAA demanded the damaged boxes to be removed from its service. It’s been reported that the ovens have since been removed as a precautionary measure.
“We serve millions of meals in these boxes on hundreds of thousands of flights each year, so this is obviously an extremely rare event,” said a Qantas spokeswoman. “Both the ovens and the oven-safe cardboard are used by many airlines around the world, and we’ve done additional testing over the past couple of months to ensure that they are safe. As a precaution, we have made adjustments to the way our crew prepare the meals, including reducing the number of meals loaded into the oven at any one time and reducing the heat, to ensure that it doesn’t happen again.”