Cruising

Shannen Findlay

Cruise ship doctor’s disgusting food trick admission

Cruise ship doctor’s disgusting food trick admission

While cruise ships are often a dream holiday filled with luxury, fun and good times - there are always a few restrictions and warnings travellers must be wary of. 

One cruise staff member has made a shocking admission about a repulsive way chefs on his particular vessel tricked their customers. 

Ben MacFarlane explained in his 2011 book Cruise Ship SOS wrote wealthier travellers often have intensely high standards, expectations and demands. 

While it can be risky to speak out against cruisers with unmeetable standards, there is a way one cruise kitchen skirted around the issue. 

“You don’t need to panic if one of the high rollers gets brought into the Medical Centre on a stretcher after eating poisonous sushi,” he recalls a colleague telling him. “Because they’re not going to die.”

MacFarlane adds: “Apparently the world’s keenest sushi lovers like nothing better than playing a bit of Russian roulette with the blowfish [also known as a pufferfish].

“The chefs dissect out the gallbladder to remove the toxins - but leave a tiny bit of the bile duct intact so the diners feel the buzz of poison on their lips as they swallow.”

The doctor recalled one fellow employee saying, “Too little poison and you don’t get the tingle.

“Too much and you die. Apparently, the rich passengers love that kind of thing.”

The poisonous parts of the puffer fish can leave a tingling feeling that turns into numbness around the mouth, then paralysis and eventually death by respiratory failure. 

Obviously, Macfarlane’s cruise refused to run the risk of putting a traveller’s life in danger, so instead of taking a deathly route - chefs found an incredible but disturbing way to fool holidayers into thinking they are getting what they ask for. 

“[The chef] gets rid of all the dangerous stuff and just dabs a bit of mouth ulcer cream on what’s left.

“Ready-made tingle with far less risk of sudden death and a lawsuit.”

A fellow employee said: “It’s a win-win situation. The passengers think they’re dying when in fact they’re just cleaning up cold sores.”