(WASHINGTON) — A cruise line known for luxury has received a failing grade from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention after a surprise inspection of one of its ships.
Silversea Cruises’ Silver Shadow was in port in Alaska June 17 when inspectors from the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program boarded the ship.
The ship received an “unsatisfactory” grade of 82, according to the CDC website. A satisfactory grade is 86 or higher.
The CDC found 21 deficiencies, according to its report. The main area of concern, the cruise line said, was what the report called an “organized effort” to remove trays of food and hide them in crew cabins “in order to avoid inspection by VSP staff.”
In a statement to ABC News, Silversea said, “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.”
When the hidden food was found, according to the report, the VSP inspector doused it with concentrated chlorine before dumping it into garbage bags to ensure it would not be used again.
“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,” Enzo Visone, Silversea Cruises’ CEO, said in a statement.
“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,” Visone continued. “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.”
In a Q&A posted by the cruise line, the line said the “individuals responsible for this situation are no longer with Silversea.”
Eleven other ships on all lines have received unsatisfactory grades from the CDC in 2013, out of 179 inspections.
Silversea’s Silver Shadow had not received a score lower than 90 since the year 2000. Three other Silversea ships — Silver Whisper, Silver Cloud and Silver Spirit — have been inspected this year and all received scores between 94 and 100.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Matt McFarland, CNN
Kathryn Vasel, CNN