Cruise Ship Fails Surprise Health Inspection In Skagway

A cruise ship that failed a surprise health inspection while in Alaskan waters is making national news after it was discovered food was being stored in unsanitary conditions.

The Centers for Disease Control made a surprised visit aboard the Silversea’s Silver Shadow ship on June 17 while docked Skagway. The agency was tipped off by crew members that food on the ship was being storied in crew cabins, rather than in the ship’s galley and in proper refrigeration.

The agency claims the violations were part of an “organized effort” to hide food in crew cabins to avoid inspection.

Details reveal that all types of food – including cooked foods, raw meats, milk, eggs, cheese and fruits and vegetables were stored in occupied crew cabins. Food equipment, dishware and utensils were also stored in cabins and hallways. One crew member, a pastry chef, told the cable news network CNN he shared his quarters with two other people, some salami and unrefrigerated blue cheese.

Inspectors write in their report that all out of temperature and potentially hazardous foods were discarded. An inspector also poured chlorine over the food to ensure it wouldn’t be used.

The findings resulted in a failing grade of 82 for the inspection. Anything lower than 84 is considered less than satisfactory. It’s the first time a Silversea’s inspection has received any score lower than a 92 since 2000.

The CDC doesn’t actually have authority to make sure violations are fixed. The CDCs Vessel Sanitation Program requires cruise companies to submit statements about how violations were corrected. But it acknowledges on its agency website that it cannot verify deficiencies have been corrected until the next vessel inspection.

The company posted a lengthy comment on its website on Thursday. Chief Executive officer Enzo Visone writes in the statement that the inspection has given the company “great cause for concern.” He details steps and training the company took after the inspection and write that the Silver Shadow ship will be inspected again by the CDC before the ship leaves Alaskan water at the end of August.

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