In a story that is just as likely to make you squeamish as downright fearful about safety on cruises, a Florida cruise line received the lowest score ever for an inspection. A news report covered the April 27, 2023, inspection conducted by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and which revealed more than 50 violations of Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP), which was established to regulate cleanliness and hygiene on board. Not only do these violations threaten safety from illness, but some could even lead to cruise ship accidents.
The VSP exists for passenger safety, and cruise ships must meet the requirements to pass the inspection. In the recent case, the ship earned 67 out of 100; 85 points is a passing score. Operators will undoubtedly be working hard to get the vessel into compliance, and no injuries or illnesses have been reported. A Miami cruise ship accident lawyer is essential if you were hurt in any type of incident on board, but it is interesting to understand what could have gone wrong – at the cost of passenger safety.
Food Preparation Issues
On a number of occasions, food service workers were seen mishandling hamburger meat as they served passengers at a buffet station. Some members were also preparing raw hamburgers around contaminants, including pooled hamburger blood. In one case, a food service crew member failed to wash their hands after handling raw meat and before moving on to vegetable prep.
Sanitation and Dishes
The cruise ship that failed its recent CDC inspection had several dishwashers in states of disrepair, such as:
- A unit that failed to reach the designated temperature for sanitation;
- A dishwasher with arms that did not spray any water;
- A unit that was leaking into a passenger deck area.
Depth Marker at Pool
The inspectors also noted that in one of the main pool areas, the depth was not printed in large, bold font to warn swimmers. There was one depth marker indicated, but it was only visible to passengers on one side of the pool.
Stacks of Soiled Items
Cabins should be cleaned throughout the cruise, but there were numerous violations of rules on containing soiled linens, dishes, towels, and other room supplies. Some cleaning crews left stacks of dirty items and allowed plastic bags to spill over on passenger decks and hallways. Considering the germs that can be passed, personnel must fully secure soiled items.
Vomit and Fecal Matter
The inspection revealed that crew members were not properly reporting incidents where it was necessary to clean up vomit and feces in cabins, the medical center, and the ship hospital. Without a way to verify sanitation efforts, it is possible that contaminants could be passed to other passengers.
A Miami Cruise Ship Accidents Attorney Will Explain Legal Options
To learn more about your rights after being hurt or falling ill because of cruise ship negligence, please contact Gerson & Schwartz, PA. We can set up a no-cost case evaluation at our offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, or West Palm Beach, FL.