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Sea Food, Sea Sick: Dining in the Cruise Ship Industry

By Brienne Letourneau


From its humble beginnings as a transportation enterprise in the nineteenth century, the modern cruise ship industry now serves millions of passengers each year. A significant proportion of the activity conducted by cruise ship personnel includes the preparation, service and preservation of food items. Therefore, sanitation policies and practices are of utmost importance aboard these vessels. Because of the potential for the spread of communicable food-borne diseases, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention exercise a great deal of authority over the industry. It has therefore promulgated voluntary guidelines based heavily upon the Food and Drug Administration’s Food Code, to which the vast majority if not all of the American cruise lines adhere. This paper discusses the history and development of the cruise ship industry, the structure and function of the Vessel Sanitation Program, and the potential liability that the cruise lines may face as the industry expands and gastroenteritis outbreaks increase in frequency

Topics: Food and Drug Law
Year: 2012
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