Cruise chef reveals how clean the onboard kitchens really are

When it comes to cruises, in recent months there has been a lot of talk about how clean they really are, and whether the standards onboard are the reason they were thrown into the media spotlight in the early days of the pandemic. One area that might be of most concern to passengers is the kitchen, where all meals for both passengers and crew are whipped up by the culinary team.

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Though cruise ships might have had some bad press in the early days of the virus, it is clear the pandemic was unprecedented, and plenty of other industries soon followed suit.

What’s more, Tom Götter, the executive chef and head of culinary on board the Scenic Eclipse, revealed to Express.co.uk that standards onboard ships are actually far higher than those on land.

“I think many people underestimate the huge amount of work and organisation that goes on behind the scenes to bring guests such opulent and exciting dining experiences on the seas,” said Götter.

“Like so many other aspects of the yacht, Scenic Eclipse sets the benchmark for its dining venues, too – and with that of course comes the kitchen cleanliness.”

It seems holidaymakers have little to worry about when it comes to the cleaning protocol.

“In fact, hygiene measures are much higher on cruise ships than restaurants on dry land,” continued the chef.

“For all kinds of reasons we have much higher standards and are governed by strict restrictions which place cleanliness and hygiene as an absolute priority.

“I believe most cruise ship kitchens, and in particular those on Scenic Eclipse, are cleaner than anywhere I have worked before.”

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Though standards are high on board, in the wake of coronavirus, cruise lines are pushing the boundaries even further with new ways to ensure their passengers are well looked after.

“Cleanliness has always been a top priority, but of course we’re introducing new procedures and cleaning rotations, giving them even more attention than they already get,” Götter explained.

The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has put out a set of new guidelines for cruise lines to try and attain at all times.

They include instructions on boarding, disembarkation, how to look after crew members and what to do if an outbreak of influenza or a similar virus occur.

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“In addition to routine cleaning and disinfection strategies, cruise ships may consider more frequent cleaning of commonly touched surfaces such as handrails, countertops, and doorknobs,” it adds.

Though the head chef himself may not be taking on such tasks, he notes he will be part of the larger effort to put in place new hygiene practises.

The kitchen, of course, will be home to many.

“While I can’t see my own personal role changing too drastically in the wake of the pandemic, I will be part of the team charged with ensuring that our kitchens continue to deliver exceptional levels of service and cleanliness – so that our guests can continue to dine with confidence,” he said.

“Remember, we’re still a brand new ship and our open galleys mean we’re often visible to our guests – so only the highest standards of cleanliness have already been instilled in us all from the very start.”

The Scenic Eclipse was launched in January 2018.

The six-star mega-yacht will resume its luxury offering in September 2020.

Parent company Scenic Group state: “The continued Government travel restrictions and border closures in many countries has made it impossible for us to operate our scheduled itineraries and we have been required to further suspend departures up to 31 August 2020 for all River Cruise and Land Tour bookings.

“Departures have also been suspended for Ocean Cruise and North America Land Tour bookings, up to 30 September 2020.”

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