25 July 2013
The inspection by the USPHS on the Silver Shadow on June 17, documenting an unusually low score, has given the Company great cause for concern.
At Silversea Cruises we pride ourselves on providing the best quality services to our guests. Since the preliminary report was given to us, a full investigation has been carried out into the circumstances which led to this unsatisfactory result and a number of steps have been taken to ensure that the standards of food hygiene, in particular, are of the highest order. The other issues contained in the report have been rigorously dealt with as well. Our investigation has included the involvement of an external sanitation consultant travelling on board the ship and our own managers working through every aspect of the USPHS report to ensure full compliance. Following the June 17 inspection additional training was provided for all food handlers and supervisors, butlers, cooks, waiters and bar staff to reinforce company procedures. Implicit in this training was that no food or food equipment is, at any time, permitted in cabins or non-designated areas. Procedures for reporting and replacement of equipment identified in the inspection report were also included in the training programme.
Operational management has also introduced an anonymous call system where any member of staff can report failings of procedures to senior managers without fear of reprisals.
There will be a further inspection by the USPHS before the Silver Shadow leaves Alaskan waters at the end of August, which we welcome as we believe and trust the results of any follow-up inspection will demonstrate Silversea's commitment to maintain the best standards in sanitation and hygiene on board its fleet.
For reasons of full transparency we have laid out below our investigation's findings in relation to the main area of concern in the USPHS report: trolleys and food being hidden from inspectors in cabins.
The unannounced inspection on June 17 occurred at the end of the breakfast period where pots, pans and utensils were on working stations and items to return to the galleys were on trolleys as were stores from the fridges ready for use. It is clear that when the galley staff heard that inspectors were on board, instead of continuing their work in the understanding that they were in the middle of a meal service, they tried to quickly remove all trolleys and any items not in the fridges and place them in cabins out of the way. It goes without saying that such practices are against company policy and should not have happened. We would also like to make clear that following the inspection of Silver Shadow, all food found in the cabins was destroyed and under no circumstances was improperly stored food served to any guests.
Chief Executive Officer