Operating at sea comes with its own set of logistical challenges, including cruise ship ice. Ice is a big part of the hospitality service on every cruise ship. It’s in mixed drinks at the bar, sodas in the dinning hall, and can be delivered to your room for personal use. But, did you know that making ice on a cruise ship isn’t as easy or as safe as you might think?
Is Cruise Ship Ice Safe?
Ice is usually made in one of the ice machines onboard, and often transferred to different food stations and bars where it is used. Every time ice is moved it requires an employee’s touch - their hand on the ice scoop, pouring the ice into a bucket to carry, hands on the edge of the ice bin. Cruise ship employees clean the ice machines regularly as part of their protocol, but it is often through ice transfer that ice is at risk of being contaminated. Cruise ship operators should do their best to promote good ice safety behavior in their employees.
Serving The Masses At Sea
On average the Food and Beverage Department on a cruise ship faces the challenge of providing food and drink to 3,000-6,000 passengers and staff each and every week. That amounts to nearly 700 tons each excursion. So what happens if any of that food, drink, or ice become contaminated? Pandemonium.
Safety Standards For Cruise Ship Food And Drink
A food safety outbreak can put everyone on board at risk because of the close quarters. For that reason, cruise ships are required to meet a specific set of standards under the Center for Disease Control & Prevention’s (CDC) Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP).
The VSP conducts public health inspections on cruise ships to help prevent large outbreaks of certain illnesses that cause diarrhea or vomiting. They inspect several areas of the ship; including a few that impact an important food product on a cruise ship - cruise ship ice.
Some cruise lines do a better job than others at meeting these high safety standards. The CDC and VSP publish the investigation scores publicly on their website for consumers to view. It's important for cruise lines to be vigilant in safety protocol and continue to seek new ways to improve sanitation.
Get information on EcO3Ice; an antimicrobial ice device that uses an ozone treatment for incoming water going into ice machines, keeping them safer for longer.