We can draw an important lesson from a story of raw chicken served on a commercial flight.
The UK Sun tells the story like this. 26-year-old Jamie Farrar ordered chicken satay on his flight from Bali to Kuala Lumpur on Malaysia Airlines. It was served raw, or at least that is what Farrar claims and what his pictures seem to reveal. FAs did not speak much English, noting only that the chicken was “frozen” before taking it away but not bringing him back a replacement. Worried over his health, Farrar also skipped both meals on his connecting flight to London, arriving in the UK starving.
He wrote to Malaysia Airlines who wrote him back, apologizing that he suffered from food poisoning. Remember, he never ate the raw food…and therefore never experienced food poisoning. Farrar wrote back, asking for compensation. After promising to get back to him, Malaysia Airlines never did.
When asked to comment, Malaysia Airlines told The Sun:
We pride ourselves on the quality of the meals we offer on board and we regret if the passenger felt standards were below expectations on this occasion.
The meat used for our satay is from the chicken thigh and the brining process can cause the meat to look pink even when cooked.
The chicken is always grilled over charcoal fire at our catering unit and heated for a minimum of 18 minutes on board to ensure it is thoroughly cooked.
Feedback is always passed on to our catering teams who check the quality of the food we serve on board every week.
We have qualified chefs in all our kitchens and conduct regular checks to ensure our standards are maintained on all flights.
In other words: a non-apology apology with an insinuation that the meat was actually cooked. You can check the pictures yourself. In case you were wondering (like me), brining is a process in which meat is soaked in a salt water solution prior to cooking.
What the Passenger Did Wrong
Even premium cabins are not spared from the occasional bad meal. To hedge my bets, I always carry snacks in my carry-on bags. Always. And Farrar should have as well. He could have easily stocked up on snacks during his layover in Kuala Lumpur if he had none.
Typically, I will carry protein bars, nuts, dark chocolate, and beef jerky in my hand baggage. I cannot tell you how many times these provisions have come in handy either on a plane or on the ground between flights. These snacks take very little space but essentially act as an insurance policy against bad food on any flight.
Now I also think Farrar was foolish for not eating the food from KUL to LHR, but I can at least understand his hesitation. Enough victim blaming…shame on Malaysia Airlines for serving raw meat.
You cannot always escape bad airline food. If you run into a situation like Farrar did, be prepared. Take snacks along that can easily be stored in your bag. At the very least, they serve as a better alternative to pricey airport concessions.