When you take that longed for cruise vacation the last thing you want is to become sick. There are several things you can do to ensure a healthy vacation and one of them is to be careful about what you eat. There is not only the danger that with food available 24 hours a day it may well take its toll on your waistline, but there is always the risk that what you eat might make you sick.
The first thing you should do is be careful of the buffet. Not only can food which is not properly heated through harbor bacteria, but if someone suffering from norovirus touches the serving spoon in front of you, then the virus on the spoon will transfer to you. The catering staff should be serving the food to you so no infected passenger can transfer it via the serving utensils.
The second food item to be careful of is meat. Cruise lines usually follow strict safety measures but if the meat is not cooked above 140 degrees Fahrenheit then this in the danger zone. Below that number bacteria can multiply so be very careful of beef on a cruise ship. Poultry is also similar to beef as it has to be cooked and handled in such a way as to eliminate bacteria. In addition it is vital to avoid cross contamination with poultry, so raw poultry or the knife used to cut it, or the surface it is cut on must not come near any other produce, especially if that produce will be served raw.
Looking at condiments you should be wary of unrefrigerated ketchup, mayonnaise or mustard, especially if they are left for a while in a warm environment where bacteria could form.
Milk is also something else to avoid unless you know exactly where it came from and how it has been stored. Certain raw milk can contain E. coli, listeria and salmonella, so if possible, use an alternative.
You should also be careful of shellfish, especially raw oysters which have recently been proven to be carriers of norovirus. Try not to eat raw shellfish and check that it is properly cooked.
When it comes to alcohol, although everyone knows that over indulgence in alcohol is not necessarily wise, not everyone is aware that enjoying your pina colada cocktail may not have the desired result as coconut milk, one of the key ingredients, is a very effective laxative. So alcohol and especially pina coladas should be drunk in moderation.