Knowing how to plan adequate food supplies onboard is crucial as it affects the crew’s overall wellbeing at sea
Apart from planning a good variety of food supplies to ensure wholesome nutrition and smooth operations at sea, finer details can be overlooked. There are some important components to be considered while ordering food supplies.
Factors to consider during planning
A balanced diet is essential to the crew’s performance; given typical voyage durations are in terms of months. Prior to ordering food supplies, consider the following:
- Duration of voyage and headcount onboard
Both voyage duration and headcount onboard will determine the order quantities. Assess them based on available storage space including refrigerators and freezers. Storage availabilities will determine the types of supplies to be ordered; frozen or canned. It can also determine which foods to be prioritised for quick consumption – such as perishables or space-consuming items. For long voyages, non-perishable vegetables might be a better option. Lastly, never compromise specified storage methods as it may lead to quicker expiry or pose hygiene and health risks.
- Preferred foods and dietary requirements
It helps to understand your crew’s preferred foods and their dietary requirements. Factoring in medical-related concerns such as gluten or lactose intolerance will minimise food allergy incidences. Having a good variety of foods and nutrition will ensure your crew’s health, physical and mental wellbeing.
- Kitchen staff strength
Headcount in the kitchen has a direct impact on meals onboard. Tasks in the kitchen go beyond food preparation; menu planning by available supplies, ensuring hygiene is enforced, and food quality falls under the kitchen’s purview. It is therefore essential to have sufficient manpower in the vessel’s kitchen.
Planning the ship’s food stocks can be challenging. However, having clarity on the voyage duration, crew’s strength, dietary requirements, preferences, and health concerns can help make the journey smoother.