Cruise lines respond to E.Coli outbreak in Europe

The recent outbreak of the bacteria E.Coli in Europe has prompted cruise lines operating in the area to review already stringent food preparation guidelines.

The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that 22 people have died as a result of the outbreak, with more than 2200 falling ill and whilst health officials first suspected the source was contaminated cucumbers from Spain, they have more recently focussed their attention on bean sprouts produced in Germany.

e-Travel Blackboard has approached several cruise lines operating in Europe to find out what their stance is regarding the outbreak.

Holland America Line
A spokesperson for Holland America has stated that the line is referring to the CLIA (Cruise Lines International Association) statement as a member line of the organisation.

“CLIA member lines operating in Europe have been closely monitoring the developments of the E.coli outbreak.

Our member lines already follow procedures to wash and sanitize fruits and vegetables that come onboard ships.

These efforts will continue and depending upon the location of a particular port in Europe, may be enhanced. In many cases our member lines serving Europe have also provided advisories to their passengers and crews regarding consumption of raw fruits and vegetables during shore visits.”

Carnival UK

 “All Carnival UK ships have stringent policies and controls in place surrounding food handling and hygiene which stretch across our entire supply chain and we can confirm that no sources of fresh produce supplied to our ships have been implicated in the outbreak.

We are monitoring the E.coli outbreak extremely carefully and there have been no cases of illness associated with cruise ships.

Following the outbreak we have sent further specific advice to all of our ships regarding the importance of E.coli prevention and have put further measures in place during this time.”

Royal Caribbean Cruise Line

A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean has stated that the central fresh produce supplier they utilise in the region has confirmed that no contaminated products have been sent to any of their ships.

“All food we purchase comes only from inspected and approved vendors. It is part of our safe food handling practice and our HACCP plans that we can trace back all food products.”

Information provided by the cruise line also confirms that they follow the United States Public Health (USPH) Sanitation Program which exceeds most standards of land based hotel and restaurant operations.

The line goes on to state that any produce not going through a cooking process is washed in a sanitizing food safe solution to kill any bacteria which may be left on the fruit and vegetables.

Princess Cruises

In a statement made by the cruise line on 6 June, Princess Cruises has confirmed that they are working closely with the US Centres for Disease Control (CDC) to monitor the E.Coli outbreak.

Whilst the line does not purchase any fresh food supplies from Germany, where the outbreak is believed to have started, Princess Cruises’ “enhanced food sanitation procedures onboard requires that all fresh fruits and vegetables, irrespective of their origin, are washed then sanitized before being served.”

With the Emerald Princess currently visiting Germany, all Princess Cruises organized shore tours in the country have ceased the serving of raw fruits and vegetables.

Passengers travelling independently in Germany have also been advised not to consume raw fruits and vegetables along with being issued a health advisory regarding the outbreak.
Source = e-Travel Blackboard: Natalie Aroyan
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