The NBC Today Show aired a special this morning on cruise ship germs titled Cruise ships may carry unwelcome passengers: Germs.
An undercover team went on an unidentified cruise ship (looks like a Royal Caribbean ship) to the Caribbean to find out "where germs may lurk aboard cruise ships." They used test swabs and a bacteria meter. Any reading over 100 on the bacteria meter is a "fail." Several readings were acceptable but here are examples of failed scores:
- Slot machine handle – 373;
- Elevator buttons – 370;
- Lounge chair by the swimming pool – 773; and
- Serving spoon at buffet – 2,102.
The team sent the buffet spoon swabs to a certified lab. The team interviewed a emergency room doctor who said "It’s very bad. . . they make you really sick."
The doctor suggested that cruise lines utilizing someone with gloves doing the serving instead of a self-serve arrangement. That’s "the best way of preventing the spread of infection," he said.
The Cruise Line International Association (CLIA) dismissed the results, referring to the inspection as a "clandestine demonstration."