Proceedings magazine is a communication tool for the Coast Guard's Marine Safety & Security Council. Each quarterly magazine focuses on a specific theme of interest to the marine industry.
Issue link: http://uscgproceedings.epubxp.com/i/314313
12 Proceedings Summer 2014 www.uscg.mil/proceedings Program staffers also work closely with federal and inter- national agencies, including the USCG, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the World Health Organization, and port health agencies around the world. Operational Inspections Inspectors conduct more than 280 operational inspections each year in more than 140 U.S. ports, including those in the continental United States, Alaska, Hawaii, Guam, Saipan, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Each inspection takes a day, and the size of a ship inspection team depends on the size of the ship being inspected. Most ships require two inspectors, but a very large ship can require as many as four. Inspectors carry backpacks loaded with all their inspection equipment — multiple types of thermometers, water test kits, fashlights, light meters, the current VSP Operations Manual, and laptops. Team members inspect each of the areas listed in the VSP Operations Manual with the ship's management. On the largest ships, this can include up to 60 restaurants and bars and more than a dozen recreational water facilities. In food areas, inspectors check: • food temperatures, • logs to make sure food is being cooked and cooled properly, • dishwashing machine temperatures, • sanitizing solutions levels, • light levels, • areas for proper food storage, • general cleanliness. They also assess the overall construction from a sanitation standpoint and make sure there are no pests. In technical areas, inspectors check: • medical procedures related to acute gastro- enteritis, • chlorine and pH levels in the potable water and recreational water systems, • safety compliance for recreational water facilities, • the ship's outbreak prevention and response plan, • sanitation procedures in housekeeping and the children's center, • the cleanliness and construction of air han- dling ventilation units. They also review logs for potable water, recreational water, ventilation, housekeeping, pest management, and acute gas- troenteritis cases. Inspectors also question crew members to make sure they are knowledgeable about sanitation. Inspectors provide a detailed, printed draft inspection report to the ship's management and then discuss their fnd- ings. Management also receives an inspection score and a fnal report, which includes recommendations to the cruise line. 2 Training The VSP epidemiologist and environmental health ofcers lead training for cruise line management personnel regarding the requirements in the VSP Operations Manual. The seminars are held fve times a year in Miami, Fla., and once a year on the West Coast, and provide a mixture of lectures, interactive exercises, and prac- tical hands-on sessions. Students guide each session with their questions about shipboard practices and the public health principles in the VSP Operations Manual. The seminar format also allows for informal information exchanges outside of class time. Combined operations sessions on the frst day provide opportunities to discuss topics that overlap diferent areas of cruise ship operations. Hotel operations sessions and technical operations sessions are ofered concurrently on the last day and a half. VSP stafers have also partnered with the USCG Cruise Ship National Center of Expertise to give USCG sector members the opportunity to accompany VSP ofcers during inspections. This experience is a collaborative efort to share knowledge and build connections between the two programs. Captain Jaret Ames, Vessel Sanitation Program chief, speaks at a training seminar. Summer2014_22.indd 12 5/13/14 9:45 AM