MLC – Food and catering addressed

Apr 30 2013

Earlier this year, the Singapore Maritime and Port Authority (MPA) issued a circular reminding owners, operators, cooks and Masters of requirements of MLC 2006 pertaining to the training of cooks and the provision of food on ships.

MLC Standard A3.2 contains the following mandatory requirements on food and catering that shipowners must ensure on board their ships:

(a) Food and drinking water supplies, having regard to the number of seafarers on board, their religious requirements and cultural practices as they pertain to food, and the duration and nature of voyage shall be suitable in respect of quantity, nutritional value, quality and variety;

(b) The organisation and equipment of the catering department, shall be such as to permit the provision to seafarers of adequate, varied and nutritious meals prepared and served in hygienic conditions;

(c) Catering staff shall be properly trained or instructed for their positions.

Shipowners shall also ensure that their seafarers are provided with food and drinking water free of charge during the period of engagement.

Companies are recommended to check the qualifications of crew who are currently working as ship's cooks, or trainee cooks. They are strongly recommended to arrange for each cook to attend courses to comply with the MLC requirements and obtain certificates before the August 2013 deadline.

Shipowners/operators/managers are also recommended to undertake promotional activities to educate ships' Masters and crew on nutrition, health, hygiene, storage of food and related activities.

Companies may use relevant material from Singapore's Health Promotion Board, the IMO, the World Health Organisation (WHO), or ILO, to help. A relevant publication is the WHO Guide to Ship Sanitation (3rd edition), which contains information and detailed guidance on the areas of food, water and catering, the MPA advised.

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