No one wants to get sick while on their cruise, but there are steps you can take to minimize your risk of contracting a foodborne illness. To avoid spending the trip trapped in your cabin, here are the foods you may want to avoid eating while on your cruise.

Buffet Food

Cruise ships are well-known for their buffets. However, the problem is that it is often unknown how long the food has been sitting out. The food items are normally stored at room temperature, and while this arrangement is acceptable for a short period of time, if the food is out for too long, bacteria can build up. In addition, the risk is always there of people touching the food with unwashed hands, which can easily contaminate it.

Undercooked Beef

Occasionally, meat has been known to cause illness if it has not been properly and fully cooked. The meat “danger zone” occurs when meat has an internal temperature between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. In this temperature range, bacteria are known to multiply since they may not have been completely cooked off. If there is any question as to whether meat has been properly cooked, it is best to avoid eating it.


Sushi can be dangerous to eat anywhere, but your risk increases drastically when ordering it on a cruise ship. It can be hard to tell how long the sushi has been out, particularly if it is being served on a buffet and how long ago it was made. If sushi is on the menu, and there is a question as to how “fresh” the sushi is, it is wise to avoid this item.

Undercooked Eggs

Eggs are a mainstay at the breakfast buffet, but it is important to make sure they are cooked completely through.

Fruit Salads and Salad Bars

While salads do not tend to run the risk of bacteria developing from the temperature of the food, one can never be sure how long the food has sat out and if the fruits and vegetables have been thoroughly and properly washed. Eat fruits that you can wash personally and have a protective layer. For example, an apple, or a fruit you can peel yourself like a banana or an orange.


If the ship’s restaurant has condiments set out for public consumption, such as ketchup, mustard or salsa, these bowls or containers are open grounds for bacteria. The ketchup, mustard and mayonnaise need to be kept at a cool temperature for safe consumption, and the restaurant needs to take proper precautions to ensure that people do not touch and contaminate the condiments. It is best to ask the staff for individual single-serve condiment packages to ensure that no germs have been spread and that the condiments have been stored properly.

More cruise ships failed health inspections in 2017 than any other year the past decade, according to a recent report. Violations included everything from seemingly minor sanitation issues to those that could lead to ship wide outbreaks of GI illnesses, like the feared Norovirus. You may remember when more than 300 people were sickened with the Norovirus Aboard a Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship in late 2017. In such tight corridors, it can be easy to unintentionally spread the illness.

Most cruise lines, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Celebrity, Norwegian, MSC, Disney, Holland America, Princess, Costa, Regents Seven Seas and Oceania require that claims against them be pursued in a very specific place under very strict deadlines. Failure to comply with each individual cruise lines deadlines can result in a complete loss of any and all legal rights.

Aronfeld Trial Lawyers is a personal injury firm located in Miami, Florida since 1991. We have fought hard to hold cruise lines accountable when they put their profits ahead of passenger safety. We are available 24/7 and encourage you to contact us even if you are still on your cruise. Remember, the cruise lines have the most aggressive and well-funded defense lawyers in the world- protecting their profits. You need an experienced legal advocate in your corner who will fight to obtain the compensation you deserve for lost wages, medical expenses, transportation reimbursement and pain and suffering. Call us today and speak with a Cruise Ship Claims Lawyer about your potential claim- toll free 1-866-597-4529, 305-441-0440, or by email. We are ready to help.