UK cruise ships reports reveal poor hygiene and health hazards

A report entitled "Behind the Scenes in the Cruise Ship Galleys" published by Which?, reveals poor hygiene and numerous health hazards following random checks on 14 British cruise ships docking at UK ports.

Inspectors found veal nearly a year out of date, cockroaches and swarms of flies in food larders. Which? obtained the findings under the freedom of information legislation - the only way they could get access to the reports of UK port authority inspectors.

Which? is calling for Britain to follow the US by publishing all cruise ship hygiene reports and suggestions on how to avoid being affected. Liz Edwards, head of news at Which?, said: "We quite often read in the Press about outbreaks of stomach bugs among passengers on cruise ships. We long thought it was unfair that if passengers were booking a cruise which had docked in the US, they could look at the site for the inspection report. But if it had not docked in the States, you could not get information on conditions. We decided to use the Freedom of Information Act to check on around 14 ships. A member of the public would have to go through the request process for themselves, perhaps making five requests, depending on what holiday brochures they were looking at. We would like to see reports on cruise ships carried out by inspectors from the Ports Health Authority in the UK made freely available to passengers in this country."

Cruise firms sail into health storm (The Scotsman, 1 September 2005)