Galley hygiene and well organized catering facilities are vital for the welfare of all crew members onboard and therefore, it is important all standards of housekeeping and hygiene, particularly in food storage and preparation, to be followed with consistency.
In this regard, ship operators need to establish an inspection routine in order to ensure effective compliance with all related standards. Namely, a responsible Officer shall undertake quarterly inspection of the galley and record the results. Company’s superintendents should always focus on galley status during inspections and audits and check whether Galley personnel adheres to best practices. In addition, Master and C/O are responsible for the condition and compliance with company’s catering rules.
Minimum standards for galley hygiene
- Catering staff should wear clean and freshly laundered protective clothing when handling food and preparing meals.
- All cuts, however small, should be reported immediately for first aid attention. Cuts, wounds or skin abrasions should be clean and covered with a waterproof dressing.
- Illness, rashes or spots should be reported immediately if the symptoms appear.
- A person diagnosed as suffering from an infection or contagious disease and diarrhea must not work in the galley, pantry or other food handling areas or be permitted access.
- A supply of clean-hot-running water, clean towels and soap should be available.
- Cleanliness of all crockery, cutlery, linen, utensils, and food preparation storage equipment is vital. Cracked or chipped crockery and glassware should not be used.
- Foodstuffs which may have come into contact with broken glass or broken crockery should be thrown away.
- There should be no smoking in galleys, pantries, store rooms or other places where food is prepared or stored.
- All catering staff has an equal responsibility for the maintenance of hygienic conditions within the galley and other food preparation areas, store rooms and cupboards, refrigerated spaces and messrooms.
- Temperature warning systems in refrigerators and freezers are to be inspected for proper operation.
- Regular cleaning activities will include but will not limited to the frequent cleaning of all working and eating surfaces, the disinfection of galley floors and scuppers, the removal of condensed grease and fats on extraction hoods, trunks and screens and applying daily cleaning routines as directed by the Master.
- Personnel using the catering facilities during unattended galley hours are required to maintain cleanliness to working surfaces and equipment following their use.
Furthermore, catering staff responsible for food preparation shall clean their hands and exposed portions of their arms immediately before engaging in food preparation including working with exposed food, clean equipment and utensils. Hands should be also cleaned during food preparation, as often as necessary to remove soil and contamination and to prevent cross-contamination when changing tasks and when switching between working with raw food and working with ready-to-eat food. Hand sanitizers and a chemical hand sanitizing solutions used as hand dip, if used, shall be available in galley area. These solutions shall be applied only to hands that are cleaned.
Cloths that are in use for wiping food spills shall be used for no other purpose. Cloths used for wiping food spills shall be dry and used for wiping food spills from tableware and single-service articles or wet, and cleaned and used for wiping spills from food-contact and nonfood-contact surfaces of equipment. Dry or wet clothes that are used with raw animal foods shall be kept separate from cloths used for other purposes, and wet cloths used with raw animal foods shall be kept in a separate sanitizing solution.
Single-use gloves,if used, shall be used for only one task such as working with ready-to-eat food or with raw animal food, used for no other purpose, and discarded when damaged or soiled or when interruptions occur in the operation. Slash-resistant gloves that are used to protect the hands during operations requiring cutting shall be used in direct contact only with food that is subsequently cooked, such as frozen food or a primal cut of meat. Cloth gloves may not be used in direct contact with food, unless the food is subsequently cooked such as frozen food or a primal cut of meat.