Don’t allow seafarers to eat caught fish, top chef warns

London: In the wake of the terrible food poisoning that has hit 14 out of 19 crewmembers at a port in Canada over the weekend, with some in a critical condition, the head of Marine Catering Services has warned.

Allowing seafarers to eat fish they have caught off the side of their ship is a sure way for the crew to contract food poisoning and it can take a whole ship out, according to one of the shipping industry’s leading voices on food quality and catering standards onboard ship.

“When I am onboard vessels training the crew on menu preparation and food hygiene, I give clear instructions to all crew members not to go fishing for fresh fish when ships are at anchor as you don’t know if the fish has been caught in red tides. Nor are you able to detect whether any caught fish has toxins within their system, as that can only be obtained by laboratory examination of the product,” said Henry Anderson, consultant chef and founder of Marine Catering Services.

Shipowners and managers should buy their fish products from reputable suppliers as this proves traceability of the product purchased and complies with due diligence procedures should anyone should become sick, Anderson urged.

Moreover, shipowners can find themselves privately sued for damages if a claimant can prove that the 1990 Food Act has been breached and due diligence has not been carried out, Anderson warned.

Sam Chambers

Starting out with the Informa Group in 2000 in Hong Kong, Sam Chambers became editor of Maritime Asia magazine as well as East Asia Editor for the world’s oldest newspaper, Lloyd’s List. In 2005 he pursued a freelance career and wrote for a variety of titles including taking on the role of Asia Editor at Seatrade magazine and China correspondent for Supply Chain Asia. His work has also appeared in The Economist, The New York Times, The Sunday Times and The International Herald Tribune.
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