The Vessel Sanitation Program (VSP) exists to minimize the incidences of gastrointestinal illnesses on cruise ships. The program is part of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. Section 264 Quarantine and Inspection Regulations to Control Communicable Diseases) appoints the program authority.
The VSP inspects cruise ships both periodically and randomly. Additionally, they monitor the current state of GI illnesses and respond to outbreaks. Training is provided to cruise ship employees regarding the best public health practices. The VSP conducts public relation efforts to educate the public about health issues.
Cruise ships who have a capacity of 13 persons or beyond as well as those who travel to foreign countries are subject to VSP inspection. The VSP uses criteria gathered from the FDA Food Code as well as the World Health Organization’s Guide to Ship Sanitation. VSP publishes the VSP Operations Manual periodically to reflect upon new technology, trends, and scientific discoveries.
Between 1 and 4 people will be sent to inspect a ship. Areas inspected will include medical facilities, swimming pools, potable water systems, dining rooms, children’s areas, ventilation systems, hotel accommodations, and common areas of the ship. The CDC inspectors will meet with the ship’s management to discuss violations and provide the ship with a written report.
Ships are required to correct violations from these inspections. If you feel you have been affected by unsanitary conditions on a cruise ship, contact the Waukesha personal injury lawyers at the law offices of Habush Habush & Rottier S.C. ® by calling 800-242-2874.