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Why you should say ‘no’ to tea or coffee while on a plane


New York, Dec 12: Do you often opt for beverages when flying? Well, you may not again after reading this. According to a new airline food study from the Hunter College NYC Food Policy Center here, it's always wise to avoid beverages on flight, thanks to the quality of water they use on board. The study results were revealed in November and it is not inconsistent with the US's Environmental Protection Agency's investigation that predicted harmful pathogens (bacteria, fungi, virus) in the water of 15 per cent of commercial flights, TODAY reported.

Although no report of passengers getting sick by drinking coffee or tea made from the flights' tap water has surfaced, yet it is always wise to be on the safer side.

Why you should say ‘no’ to tea or coffee while on a plane

"Currently, the Airline Drinking Water Rule, jointly regulated by the EPA, FDA and FAA, only requires disinfection and flushing one to four times per year, depending on the number of coliform samples taken per monitoring period. The ADWR was introduced in 2009 and has never been updated," the TODAY report said, adding that the water drunk on a plane is "only as clean as the hoses and tanks used to transport and store it".

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Though the airliners have claimed that they do attend the water-purifying task more diligently, inside sources have conceded that it is not enough. In fact one flight attendant even said last year to the media that they never drink plain coffee or tea or even hot water on the flight.

The New York State Department of Health has said that even boiling of dirty water doesn't make it safe to drink. "According to the New York State Department of Health, boiling is best defined as pasturization, not sterlization. Sterilization kills all organisms present. Pasturization, however, only kills organisms which harm humans, and only if the pasturization is effective. This is determined by temperature and time. So if the flight attendants are rushed or don't heat the water up to a high enough temperature, which can be tricky since elevation affects a liquid's boiling point, it could still be contaminated," the TODAY report added.

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