APRIL 14, 2015 — Don't allow seafarers to eat fish caught off the side of the ship. That is the advice of consultant chef Henry Anderson following recent media reports that 14 crew from a Japanese bulker in Canada were hospitalized after contracteing ciguatera fish poisoning, caused by eating tropical fish that have consumed toxin-producing algae.
Chef Anderson, who is the founder of U.K. based company Marine Catering Services, says that eating fish caught off the side of the vessel is a sure wayto contract food poisoning and can take a whole ship out.
"When I am onboard vessels training the crew on menu preparation and food hygiene, I give clear instructions to all crew members not to go fishing for fresh fish when ships are at anchor as you don't know if the fish has been caught in red tides," says Chef Anderson. "Nor are you able to detect whether any caught fish has toxins within their system, as that can only be obtained by laboratory examination of the product.
"Shipowners and managers should buy their fish products from reputable suppliers as this proves traceability of the product purchased and complies with due diligence procedures should anyone should become sick. This is also backed up by written food temperature controls in which any meal can be traced back to the menu."