The FDA issued a warning last month to Alaska Airlines Chairman and CEO Brad Tilden that flight attendants on Horizon Air Q400 aircraft should not be serving drinks with ice.
Since the lavatories in Horizon Air’s 52 Q400 turboprops don’t have sinks flight attendants aren’t able to wash their hands inflight. Thus they aren’t permitted to serve any food or beverages which aren’t prepackaged.
The FDA informed the airline,
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. We recommend that you discontinue the use of ice and serve only food and beverages that are in closed containers.
Alaska Airlines says it will be “roll[ing] out more robust procedures on all Horizon flights next week.”
Alaska’s plan is to require flight attendants “to sanitize their hands with…hospital-grade disinfectant and then immediately put on food-service gloves before pouring drinks.”