Cunard blames ‘one small area’ for Queen Mary 2 failing sanitation inspection

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Food fit for a queen? Apparently not always on Cunard Line’s Queen Mary 2 ocean liner, which received a failing grade this month from federal sanitation inspectors. Cunard, blaming the rare slip-up mainly on a single area of the ship, said last week that it had fixed the problems.

Among issues that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in a June 10 inspection of the ship were potentially hazardous foods stored at the wrong temperatures, a blocked hand-washing sink, inadequate record-keeping and a human hair found inside a lid in an ice machine.

Inspectors in the Vessel Sanitation Program gave the ship a score of 84 on a 100-point scale, with 100 being perfect and any score 85 or lower deemed “not satisfactory.” In past inspections, the 2,620-passenger Queen Mary 2 has done well, even scoring 100 in 2008 and 2009. The ship entered service in 2004.

In a statement on its website, Cunard, said, in part:


“The poor assessment ... resulted largely from one small area of the ship’s overall operation. All the issues raised in the report were immediately addressed and have now been corrected.

“Ship and shore management have now redefined certain roles and responsibilities to clarify accountability and the Company’s already rigorous training schedule has been stepped up. The Company is confident that failings of this nature will not occur again, and that the ship’s VSP scores in the future will return to the customary consistently high level.”

Cunard also filed a detailed report with the government agency on steps that it has taken to address the sanitation issues.

It’s rare for major cruise ships to fail the sanitation inspections. Here’s a link to recent reports on a variety of ships.