Last month, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued a warning to Horizon Air to stop serving ice with drinks because the planes in its fleet of Q400 turboprop planes don’t have hand-washing sinks in their bathrooms.
The letter came after a series of inspections late last year and early this year revealed that the bathrooms inside Horizon’s planes were insufficient for employees who handle food because they lack soap, sanitary towels, and hot and cold running water, or warm water in place of hot and cold running water. The lack of sinks increases the possibility of the spread of communicable disease.
“Directing your employees to wash their hands in the airport between flights or to use hand sanitizer does not meet the requirements for suitable lavatory facilities for food-handling employees,” the administration wrote to Horizon, which is owned by Alaska Airlines.
The administration advised Horizon to stop using ice and to serve only food and beverages that are in closed containers.
Horizon told local media that flight attendants will soon begin using a hospital-grade disinfectant on their hands just before putting on gloves, which they will wear while pouring drinks, including those with ice. The company said the disinfectant is a “more robust” procedure.
The in-flight service menu on Horizon flights includes beer, wine, and sodas along with packaged snacks.