UK TravelMole Web Awards 2014 - Voting Open

How clean is your cruise ship?




NEW YORK - Going on a cruise? To cut your risk of getting sick while sailing the high seas, avoid using the ship's public bathrooms, according to a U.S. study, reported by Reuters.

Researchers found that only 37 percent of 273 randomly selected public restrooms on cruise ships that were checked on 1,546 occasions were cleaned at least daily, with the toilet seat the best cleaned of six evaluated objects.

On 275 occasions no objects in a restroom were cleaned for at least 24 hours with baby changing tables found to be the least thoroughly cleaned object.

But the findings ran contrary to data from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention which regularly inspects cruise ships, sometimes unannounced, to ensure vessels meet a required minimum inspection score of 85.

"The cruising industry takes the sanitation of its vessels and the mitigation of all gastrointestinal illnesses, including norovirus, very seriously," said industry group the Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA) in a statement.

The CLIA said the latest study into hygiene on cruise ships did not find any relationship between the thoroughness of disinfecting restrooms and outbreaks of illness on cruise ships.

In the study, published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases, researcher Philip Carling, of Carney Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, and colleagues from the Cambridge Health Alliance and Tufts University School of Medicine, said a lack of disinfectant may significantly increase the risk for illness.

Carling said public toilet seats and flush devices, stall handholds and door handles, inner restroom door handles, and baby changing tables "on most, but not all, cruise ships" were not being cleaned and disinfected thoroughly.

"There was a substantial potential for washed hands to become contaminated while the passenger was exiting the restroom, given that only 35 percent of restroom exit knobs or pulls were cleaned daily," Carling said in a statement.

"Only disinfection cleaning by cruise ship staff can reasonably be expected to mitigate these risks."

Carling told Reuters Health that cruise passengers should minimise public restroom use, wash hands with soap and water rather than alcohol-based hand rubs, and be aware of the disease transmission potential from all publicly touched surfaces.

For the study, Carling's group enlisted 46 monitors with ultra-violet lights to check 273 randomly selected public restrooms daily during cruises between July 2005 and August 2008. The ships mostly originated from U.S. ports.

Toilet seats were the best-cleaned object. Of the 2,010 toilet seats evaluated, 50 percent had been cleaned.

They found 42 percent of toilet flush devices, 37 percent of toilet stall doors, and 31 percent of stall handhold bars had been cleaned.

Only 35 percent of interior bathroom door handles and 29 percent of baby changing tables had been cleaned.

Friday, November 20, 2009



Your Comments

, be the first to post a comment.
Your email:






Email other comments made to this story
Code Request a new picture 5 characters



NOTE: Comments are subject to admin approval before being posted.
Mole Poll
'Virgin boss to offer staff 'limitless holidays' - Gimmick ? or Good idea ?
Gimmick 48.57 %
Good Idea 51.43 %

Thank you for your vote



Get Adobe Flash player
LATEST MOLES' GALLERIES
UPCOMING EVENTS
Sponsored features

The results are in: eco-certification delivers better business for hoteliers

Once again world-class research shows eco-certified hotels are proven to operate more efficiently and attract guests who help them save money and the environment.

Our Green Globe members have for many years reported efficiency gains in resources, particularly energy and water, from 5% to 20% per year. 

For more information about Green Globe and its certification standard and independent audits visit www.greenglobe.com