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Last Updated: Thursday, 1 September 2005, 19:50 GMT 20:50 UK
Cockroaches found on cruise ships
Out-of-date veal was discovered thawing the Aurora, Which? claimed
Out-of-date food, cockroaches and flies were found on board four cruise liners last year, Which? magazine claims.

Hygiene problems were discovered when Southampton port health authority inspectors visited the ships including P&O Cruises' Aurora and Oceana.

They also toured Thompson Cruises' Celebration and Fred Olsen cruise lines' Black Prince vessel in May 2004.

P&O, Thompson, Fred Olsen cruises and Cunard said they had taken action since the inspectors reported their findings.

Southampton port health services were satisfied with our responses and no further action has been taken by them with regards to any of the points made
P&O Cruises' statement

P&O Cruises said in a statement that it had acted promptly in response to the Southampton port health authority's recommendations.

It read: "The health and safety of our passengers is of paramount importance and we would like to reassure all guests that the points made in the report would not have affected them.

"Southampton port health services were satisfied with our responses and no further action has been taken by them with regards to any of the points made."

Out of date veal was discovered thawing on P&O's luxury liner, Aurora.

Large flies were found in the a larder in its sister ship, the Oceana two months later during a check-up, Which? said.

The report also revealed staff reported "cockroach activity" on Cunard's Caronia.

Inspectors also had "little confidence" in Thomson's "food-safety controls" after touring the Celebration a month before its first post-refurbishment voyage.

'No infestation'

A Cunard spokesman said the cockroach activity had been found by the company's own staff who reported it to the authorities.

He added: "It was immediately dealt with and we had no problem with it. This is a truly minor occurrence.

"There wasn't an infestation or anything like that," he said.

A Thomson Cruises spokesman said the Celebration had undergone refurbishment and had not yet sailed with passengers at the time of the inspection and a food safety management system was now place on the ship.

Riccardo Benzo, marketing manager for Fred Olsen cruise lines, said staff had been issued with new guidelines to make them aware of the need to check equipment.

Consumer group Which? which obtained the inspectors' reports under new freedom of information rules is now calling for all UK cruise ship hygiene reports to be made available online.

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