“The life of an intern” and so on…by foodyfaheema (Part 1)

Howdy fellow bloggers! Remember me??? Haha. I know. When looking at the date on which I last posted I go…”Noooo? Really?!” and am certainly not smiling about it. When I first started blogging I was fairly excited and really determined that I would be able to provide a post for my readers at least once a week, unfortunately I failed myself as well as them, at sticking to this. Actually, there’s only one simple explanation for my absence. STUDIES!!! Believe it or not. Third year of studying in the Food Science field has really taken up most of my time and to be honest ,blogging was the least of my worries even though it too counted towards my academics. However, it really did bother my conscious that I was not committing to my readers. APOLOGIES foody people!!! Starting this week, I am hoping to get back in swing and keep you as my readers anticipated with interesting articles that you can expect more frequently than what you’ve gotten used to. So, watch the space!!! (the sound of that scares me) LOL.

To start off my “come back”, the obvious thing that came to mind on what to blog about this week would be my INTERNSHIP in the Food Industry. Yeah. After all the hard work and sacrifice that came with studying, I have finally reached the point where I can go out and work in the industry to apply the knowledge that I have gained through my studies. I must say, it was quiet a mission to find a place to complete my internship at but I eventually found a suitable company at which I will be working for the next five months. Starting on 23rd July 2012, I was considered as a staff member at a company called Air Chefs which is based at Cape Town International Airport. Despite a certain downfall of working for this company, I was really excited to start my internship at a place like this. Being the “over prepare” freak that I am, I did some research on the company before entering into it, reading about the company and what it does made me even more excited to start off my “Life as an intern” .

For the benefit of your knowledge, Air Chefs has been in operation since 1986 and currently provides in-flight catering requirements to various domestic and international airlines. With over 20 years of experience in the airline catering business, the company produces 40 000 meals per day for over 140 flights making it the largest in-flight catering company in South Africa. After my two-week stay at the company thus far, I am able to give you a brief overview of my experience up until now as well as some information on the company itself. Air Chefs has implemented a fully documented HACCP food safety system. This entails monitoring the compliance of hygiene and quality control processes from procurement from their suppliers, transportation to their facilities and through the entire production process until the food is delivered to the aircraft. The company also produces a wide range of special meals that cater for the unique dietary, ethnic and religious requirements of the passengers. Upon reading these interesting facts about what the company does, I was quiet keen on seeing how it unfolds within the working area and I am fairly amused at what I’ve observed thus far. The company is indeed adhering strictly to all aspects of HACCP and this can be proven in the quality of food they deliver. When going back to a previous post of mine dated 14 March 2012, you will have read more on my interest in HACCP as a career choice.

Working at Air Chefs is thus a suitable area for me to apply what I have studied with regards to quality control of food as well as to learn around the many other aspects I am yet to know about. This is basically where my role as an intern at the company comes in. To assist the Quality Controller (QC) on board in ensuring that critical control points are monitored and that everything gets recorded on a daily basis. At first I was quiet overwhelmed by all the paper work that is involved in HACCP but after realising the importance thereof it all made sense to me and allowed me to show further interest. On a day-to-day basis I am involved in accompanying the QC in monitoring and updating the areas of control that ensures the safety and hygiene of the food that goes out. Here and there I am also able to complete tasks by myself thanks to the QC’s who have shown me the basics within these two weeks.

furthermore, I have adapted quiet well to the working area, the staff and the work itself. Oh, and to the sound of the planes continuously passing over my head! Lol. Overall, my experience thus far has been pleasant and at the same time challenging in a unique way. Now that most of the “orientation” has passed by I am looking forward to my stay at the company and to learning many new things and meeting many different people. I am hoping to keep you further informed on my journey as an intern…and so on. You are welcome to pose any questions, comments or suggestions regarding this post and I will be sure to follow it up with. foodyfaheema

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