Cruise ship's concerning conditions exposed after vessel fails surprise health inspection

A Jimmy Buffett-themed cruise ship promising customers “paradise” was given a failing grade by health officials earlier this month.

Margaritaville at Sea Paradise fell short during an unexpected health inspection from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) May 1. The examination was conducted by Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) officials.

The incident report, available on the CDC’s website, shows the ship was given a failing score of 83. An 86 is needed to pass.

One of the complaints listed was the ship’s whirlpools, designed to hold a maximum of four people, had six bathers.

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The report also highlighted some sanitation concerns involving food and drink on the cruise. 

An investigator was also concerned about whether a crew member had washed his hands while working with food.

“The gloves worn by the crew member handling the ice making components of the ice machines were stored with tools,” the report said. “It was unclear if the crew member washed his hands before putting on gloves. There were glove boxes for food handlers on the bulkhead next to the ice machines that could be used instead.”

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Water bottles were also found “stored on soiled pallets,” the investigator found, while food preparation areas were also found to be soiled and/or poorly lit. Another crew member was unable to “demonstrate competency” about chemicals to clean lettuce.

“The crew member washing lettuce heads and immersing them in an antimicrobial solution for fruits and vegetables could not demonstrate competency in verifying the concentration of the chemical used,” the CDC said. “The crew member could not use a test strip correctly to verify the concentration of the solution and did not know what an acceptable test result would be.”

The CDC also noted that a freezer, several refrigerators and multiple deep fryers were all out of service. 

A spokesperson representing Margaritaville at Sea told Fox News Digital “immediate corrective actions” were taken after the inspection.

“Following internal policies, immediate corrective actions have been taken to address the issues identified in the inspection,” a statement said. “Many of these issues have already been resolved, and we will be working with USPH [United States Public Health] for a re-inspection as soon as possible.

“We expect this re-inspection will exceed USPH standards.”

Fox News Digital reached out to the CDC for additional comment but did not hear back.

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