Cruise Ship Bathroom Sanitation


Oh, oh. We thought those CDC inspection numbers were the final word on ship cleanliness. Not so.

The public bathrooms on 56 ships carrying 1,258 to 3.600 passengers from 9 major cruise lines were inspected over a 7 day period by a team of researchers from Boston University, Carney Hospital, Cambridge Health Alliance and Tufts and then reported in the medical journal Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Flush handles or buttons, stall inner handholds and door handles, restroom inner door handles, toilet seats and baby changing tables were the areas the researchers targeted. Guess which of these was the best cleaned? The toilet seat! On some ships these objects were not cleaned at all during a 24 hour period. That’s enough time for a lot of bacteria to accumulate. In some cases some of the objects tested were not cleaned at all during a 5 to 7 day period. Surgical gloves anyone?

What to do about this? Wash, wash, wash. Sing Happy Birthday to yourself while you wash those hands to assure you do the job well. Use a paper towel on the door handle while exiting. There should be a waste receptacle near the door as it is mandated by the CDC for ships, as I understand it.

By the way, the average CDC inspection score for the 56 ships tested?В В  97

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