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Catering for a multi-cultural crew - catering for galley staff

To be part of a catering team on board any international vessel can be both challenging and interesting. Different parts of the world have different political situations and each country is proud to have their own culture as well as food culture as well. Food culture is developing and is often based on religious backgrounds and climate.

All crew must treat other crew members with the highest amount of respect at all times and this applies especially for catering crew. Catering crew must ensure that the food provided on board is suitable for all. As a Chief Cook you need to provide your crew with the kind of food they are used to eating at home and is considered as “normal” to them.

Balanced diet for ship staff
Balanced diet for multi-cultural crew

This might be challenging at times since not all ingredients are always available. A sound background knowledge of your crew's cultures will help you prepare “traditional” dishes for different food cultures. Catering crew must show an interest in developing their skills. Getting direct feedback from the crew and officers of different nationalities is the best way to enhance your personal knowledge and job experience.


Halal : "Halal" is an Arabic word meaning "lawful" or "permissible". The term covers not only food and drink but also all matters of daily life. When it comes to halal food, most people think of meat foods. However, Muslims must ensure that all foods, such as processed foods are also halal. Frequently, these products contain animal by-products or other ingredients that are not permissible for Muslims.

Most food and drinks are considered Halal unless they are stated clearly in the Quran (Holy book of Islam) and Hadith (Prophetic sayings) as forbidden or non-Halal. It is extremely crucial that Halal food is completely segregated from any non-Halal food and / or Najis items.

A food will change its status from being Halal to non-Halal should it come into contact with any known non-Halal and / or najis substances. Extra effort has to be taken to ensure that Halal food is always labeled as such and kept in a secure place to prevent possible chances of contamination. The concept of Halal food is incomplete without coupling it with aspects of hygiene and nutrition. From a holistic perspective, food must be Halal, safe for human consumption and must deliver a high nutritional value.


Haraam : Means forbidden. A variety of substances are considered as harmful (haraam) for humans to consume and, therefore, forbidden as per various Quranic verses: And any food products contaminated with any of the above.

Holidays onboard and Recommendations for ship staff



Eid ul fitr

Eid ul fitr









Related guideline

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  2. Different cooking method for ship use

  3. Catering for a multicultural crew

  4. Catering for galley staff - garbage management

  5. Environmental aspects - various safety matters

  6. Action to be taken if drugs are found onboard

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