CDC's Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP)

Anyone aware of this program?  You can run a search per cruise line or for a specific ship.  I was looking at one particular ship that had inspection reports online from 1996 forward.  http://wwwn.cdc.gov/InspectionQueryTool/Inspecti.aspx

In case you aren't familiar... "The Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) assists the cruise ship industry to prevent and control the introduction, transmission, and spread of gastrointestinal (GI) illnesses on cruise ships. VSP operates under the authority of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Section 264 Quarantine and Inspection Regulations to Control Communicable Diseases)." (CDC website)

Tags: Cruise ship sanitation

3 Answers

On type of violation that caught my eye had to do with illness reporting. It really highlighted how easy it is for GI illness outbreaks to quickly get out of control. Here is the violation summary,

Site: Medical-Crew Gastrointestinal (GI) Illness Reporting

Violation: A casino dealer with onset of vomiting and diarrhea symptoms at 11 am on 23 November did not report his symptoms to the medical department until 10:30 pm that same evening. According to the records reviewed, this individual ate lunch in the crew mess and worked from 10 am to 4 pm, and again later worked from 9:30 pm to 11 pm. There was a disciplinary warning noted in his record for this. On 15 November a buffet steward with diarhea and vomiting onset at 9 am reported his symptoms to the medical department at 4 pm that day. A review of his work history revealed this employee worked from 7 am to 1 pm that day.

Recommendation: When food employees meet the case definition for AGE, ensure the following actions are taken: (1) isolate in cabin or designated restricted area until symptom-free for a minimum of 48 hours; (2) follow-up with and receive approval by designated medical personnel before returning crew to work; (3) document date and time of last symptom and clearance to return to work. When nonfood employees meet the case definition for AGE, ensure the following actions are taken: (1) isolate in cabin or designated restricted area until symptom-free for a minimum of 24 hours; (2) follow-up with and receive approval by designated medical personnel before returning crew to work; (3) document the date and time of last symptom and clearance to return to work.

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The crew is incentivized to work. I wonder what the sick time pay situation is on board?  If no work, no pay, then there seems to be very little reason (aside from being written up) to not work while one is ill. Thoughts?

Thanks for the post.   I book marked it and will use it to look up ships before I cruise.

Yes, I use this site when booking a cruise for longer than a week.  It is amazing what you learn by doing so.

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