Onboard an oil tanker, Chief cook prepared a dish of “ sweet and sour fish” using frozen fish Skipjack tuna which was provided in packets and was well within its expiry date. Fish was consumed by most of the ship staff but only four developed an allergic reaction.
1) Redness of face and eyes with red patches on body parts.
2) Difficulty in breathing and burning sensation in the chest with mild headache.
Other parameters like blood pressure, pulse and respiratory rate were found to be normal. Medicines administered as per Medical advisory services guidance.
The above incident was contained well within time due to the pro-activeness shown by the Master and his team on board administering medical aid following instructions as advised by Medical aid services
- Keep prepared and perishable food no longer than 2 hours between 5°C and 63°C.
- The defrosting of frozen fish, poultry or meat products should be completed in a temperature-controlled room or refrigerator for 24 hrs or until fully defrosted.(attached poster for reference)
- Once cooked, the food is to maintain an optimum temperature of 63 degrees Celsius or above unless the recipe requires the food to be served cold, in this case it should be cooled to 5 degrees Celsius within 90 minutes of cooking.
- The Chief Cook is requested to look at his menu and manage what products need to be defrosted in advance i.e. looking 24 hours ahead and managing the defrost process this way
Suggested Follow up action:
- If any allergic reaction/other symptoms are detected and reported to Master on consumption of any food preparation on board, Master to instruct the Galley department to immediately discard the balance food ensuring left overs are not consumed by any ship staff on board.
- Reference to the poster or instructions on the frozen food with regards to defrosting process.
- Defrosting Procedure and danger poster to be posted in the Galley.
- Allergic Reaction incidents should be reported immediately and contained in a timely manner with help of shore medical aid services.