One of the key welfare concerns for seafarers on board is the provision of healthy and nuitritious food. The International Labour Organisation (ILO) has recently produced guidlines for the training of ships' cooks.
The new guidelines aim to provide guidance to Member States to help them implement Regulation 3.2 and the respective provisions of the Code of the Maritime Labour Convention, 2006 (MLC, 2006) concerning food and catering, and in particular the qualification and training standards for ships' cooks.
Under these provisions, States parties to the MLC, 2006, must ensure that seafarers on ships flying their flag are provided with food and drinking water of appropriate quality, nutritional value and adequate quantity that takes into account the differing cultural and religious backgrounds, while seafarers employed as ships' cooks must be appropriately trained and qualified.
The Guidelines cover the multiple aspects of competencies of ships' cooks, including cooking skills, galley administration, prevention of food-borne disease, food and personal hygiene, nutrition and menu planning, religious and cultural aspects, communication skills, first aid and firefighting in the galley, and waste management.
The Guidelines will be submitted to the ILO Governing Body for consideration at its 320th Session (March 2014). The text of the Guidelines may be accessed here.
ISWAN produces information on food safety and hygeine in the galley here. The materials are available for bulk purchase by shipping companies.