Cruise Ship Food Poisoning Outbreaks at Multiyear Lows
by Dennis M. McElwee on February 08, 2012
According to a new report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the numbers of food poisoning outbreaks on cruise ships were at their lowest in years in 2010.
The agency reported that in 2010, it recorded just 11 outbreaks of food poisoning on cruise vessels, compared to 14 outbreaks the previous year. In 2006, the cruise ship industry had been battered by more than 30 outbreaks of food poisoning on cruise vessels.
Most of the food poisoning outbreaks reported on cruise ships last year were related to the norovirus pathogen. Six out of the 11 outbreaks were traced to norovirus. Two of the outbreaks were caused by E. coli, while the causes of the remaining three outbreaks are not known.
Four of the 11 outbreaks occurred on cruise ships operated by Princess Cruises. This particular cruise line struggled with a massive outbreak of the virus on the Sea Princess earlier this year. Celebrity Cruises also reported more than one outbreak of food poisoning. The other four cruise operators, including Royal Caribbean, Oceania Cruises, Holland America and Lindblad Expeditions, each reported one outbreak. Some of the biggest cruise line operators reported no food poisoning outbreaks in their vessels at all in 2011. These include Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, these reduced food poisoning outbreak rates can be linked to the fact that cruise ship companies now have stricter sanitation standards on their vessels in order to prevent contamination and infections.
The maritime law lawyers at Schechter McElwee Shaffer and Harris represent cruise ship crewmembers and passengers who have suffered illnesses or contracted food poisoning on board a vessel.