Close Menu
Charlip Law Group L.C.
305-493-8928 1800-773-1955
Over 40 Years of Experience

board certified · handles own appeals · record of winning cases and appeals

Certification Badges
No Recovery/No Fees or You Don’t Pay Us, Unless We Win

Available 24/7 · Providing Personalized Service For Each CLient · Se habla español

Food Poisoning

Food Poisoning

The Prevalence of Foodborne Cruise Ship Illness

The following article reproduced from the December 9, 2017 Food Safety News gives a very good review of the prevalence of foodborne cruise ship illness and how such statistics are generated:

The holiday cruise season is steaming toward the New Year having logged less than one foodborne illness outbreak a month thus far in 2017 that met the CDC’s criteria for public posting.

As of Dec. 8, there had been 10 such outbreaks involving nine ships from five cruise lines, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The percentage of passengers sickened on the cruises ranges from 3.3 percent on a Holland America ship to 22.8 percent on a Lindblad Expeditions ship.

Holland America has had the most outbreaks worthy of posting, according to the CDC’s Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) website. The cruise lines with outbreaks so far this year that meet the criteria for CDC posting, along with the number of passengers sickened, total number of passengers on board and the percentage of passengers sickened are:

  • Celebrity 1 cruise 173 of 3,034 (5.7%)
  • Holland America 5 cruises
  • 82 of 2,143 (3.832%)
  • 73 of 2,210 (3.30%)
  • 167 of 2,086 (8.02%)
  • 46 of 1,473 (3.12%)
  • 68 of 1,480 (4.59%)
  • Lindblad Expeditions 1 cruise 13 of 57 (22.81%)
  • Oceana 1 cruise 23 of 639 (3.60%)
  • Princess 2 cruises 157 of 2,016 (7.79%) and 184 of 2,957 (6.22%)

As has been the case since at least 1994, the vast majority of outbreaks on cruise ships for which a cause is determined involve norovirus. For 2017 so far, seven outbreaks were norovirus and one was C. perfringens enterotoxin. The cause was undetermined in two outbreaks.

In 2016 the CDC posted information on 13 foodborne illness outbreaks on cruise ships. The cause was undetermined in one outbreak in 2016. One outbreak was from E. coli, 10 were from norovirus and one involved both norovirus and E. coli.

The CDC only posts cruise ship outbreaks when they meet the following criteria:

Fall within the purview of the Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP);

Are sailing on voyages from 3-21 days;

Are carrying 100 or more passengers; and

Are cruise ships in which 3 percent or more of passengers or crew reported symptoms of diarrheal disease to the ships medical staff during the voyage.

“When sailing from a foreign port to a U.S. port, cruise ships participating in the VSP are required to report the total number of gastrointestinal illness cases –including zero (cases) – evaluated by the (ship’s) medical staff at least 24 hours before the ship arrives at the U.S. port,” according to the CDC.

“VSP also requires cruise ships to send a separate notification when the GI illness count exceeds 2 percent of the total number of passengers or crew onboard.”

Types of Food Borne Illness

Regardless of how it is classified, whether referred to as food poisoning, influenza, norovirus or salmonella such illness involves the ingestion of contaminated, spoiled, or toxic food or water. The symptoms of such illness often will include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, dehydration or bloody urine. There are a number of strains of foodborne illness. They include Salmonella; E. Coli; Hepatitis, Listeria; Norovirus or Shigella.

Proving Liability for Food Borne Illness

To persuade a jury of the cruise line’s fault, a plaintiff must be able to prove that the illness sustained resulted from exposure to food or sanitary conditions on the cruise ship. Accordingly, the involvement of public health authorities such as the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) often play a key role in determining causation. A public health authority can provide an important epidemiological link to help make the plaintiff’s case. Expert witnesses are also used to support the case. Testimony from physicians, epidemiologists, microbiologists and other experts are used to provide material evidence regarding a food borne illness. Ultimately, the starting point for proof of liability must be some evidence of negligent sanitization practices. Because proof of such illness and injuries often involves difficult questions of negligence and causation it is vital to immediately consult with an experienced cruise ship injury attorney such as the lawyers at Charlip Law Group, LC.

All incidents of cruise ship food borne illness should be immediately evaluated by an experienced cruise line injury attorney. Such incidents require a complete and timely investigation and legal action to be commenced within one year of injury. Charlip Law Group, LC has experience in such cases and is available to assist you should you unfortunately experience such an incident.

Call For a Free Consultation

No Attorney’s Fees Unless You Win

Charlip Law Group L.C.

Charlip Law Group, LC is located in North Miami, FL and serves clients in and around North Miami Beach, Miami Beach, Miami, Hialeah, Opa Locka, Dania, Key Biscayne, Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Pompano Beach, Broward County and Miami-Dade County.

999 Brickell Ave Ste 840, Miami, Florida 33131
Toll-Free: 1800-773-1955 Telephone: 305-354-9313 Fax: 305-354-9314

Connect With Us

The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.

No content on this site may be reused in any fashion without written permission from

The hiring of a lawyer is an important decision that should not be based solely upon advertisements. Before you decide, ask us to send you free written information about our qualifications and experience. This website and the information and materials available through the site are made available only in accordance with certain TERMS AND CONDITIONS.

© 2016 - 2023 Charlip Law Group, LC, Attorneys at Law. All rights reserved.
This law firm website is managed by First Class Alliance.

Contact Form Tab