Tipoff on food storage leads to failed health inspection for luxury cruise liner in Skagway

AnchorageJuly 26, 2013 

WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

A Silversea Cruises luxury liner failed a surprise  sanitation inspection in Skagway in June after whistleblower crew members tipped federal inspectors to alleged food storage issues. One crew member told CNN the problems were so bad he would not eat the food that was being served to passengers on the $5,000-per-head sailing up the Inside Passage.

According to a report by the CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program, the cruise ship Silver Shadow was cited repeatedly for using an "organized effort" to remove 15 trolleys of food from the ship's galley to individual crew cabins to "avoid inspection."

The snap inspection of the Silver Shadow on June 17 in Skagway, Alaska, was conducted after an anonymous crew member sent still photographs to the CDC showing meat in crew cabin sinks and trays of food in the corridors in the hallways outside those cabins.

It resulted in a failing grade of 82 for the Silver Shadow. Any grade less than 84 is considered "less than satisfactory," according to the VSP website.

There were reports of illness among  workers on the ship, according to the VSP report. A spokesperson for Silversea Cruises Ltd. told CNN the inspection result was an anomaly and that the company's cruises have always received high marks in sanitation inspections. But a lawyer who specializes in the cruise industry says hiding food during inspections is commonplace.

Read more: Luxury cruise fails surprise health inspection

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