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Catering for galley staff- Stock Management & Administration

Shipboard chief cook role should be intended to save money by efficient operation or elimination of unnecessary features. He could be working in the best possible manner with the least waste of time and effort. His primary role to be :
  1. cooking efficiently & economically

  2. designing a well balanced menu
  3. the various cooking methods
  4. accurate stock controls
  5. ordering, receiving & storing
  6. temperature control
  7. hygiene & sanitation.

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Oil Tanker Safety Guide
Cooks on all seagoing vessels should
Catering department
Ships Catering department
Chief Cook is responsible for using company resources to produce quality meals for all officers & crew. At the same time, he is expected to remain within the allocated budget. Therefore, it is essential to set up and follow precise food control and administrative procedures that will enable the chief cook to make the best use of the available resources.

Food storage

When storing and using food chief cook should follow the first in, first out (FIFO) rule. By sticking to this principle, goods will be used in the order they are delivered. For example, do not put today’s frozen beef silverside into the freezer in front of those delivered from the previous supply. Create a system so that new deliveries are stored behind those already in storage.

Food storage
Food storage

Store food only in areas designed for storage. There is no excuse for storing food products near chemicals, in toilet areas, in the boiler or furnace room. It is dangerous because of the risk of contamination, and local health codes prohibit it.

Keep potentially hazardous food out of the temperature danger zone which is 5 to 63 °C.

All goods should be kept in clean and undamaged wrappers or packaging. A dirty wrapper can attract pests and contaminate food as it is opened. Damaged or torn packaging is a sign of potential contamination or pest damage. Packaging should not be reused unless under special conditions. If goods are removed from their original packaging, they should be stored in clean, airtight containers.

Keep food trolleys clean. Do not transport meat to the galley on a dirty trolley or a trolley used to carry rubbish. Keep storage areas clean and dry. This rule applies to dry storage, refrigerators, freezers, and heated cabinets.

Stock Management & Administration


Bulk items, frozen and dry goods should be ordered to cover a period of 1 to 3 months, provided there is enough storage on board. Relevant staff will let you know if the port you choose to purchase items from is suitable.

Fresh foods
Fresh foods

Fresh and perishable items should be ordered every 2 to 3 weeks. Local fruit and vegetables are preferable to imported products as they are cheaper. Homemade soup is preferable to the powdered soup. These are comfortable and cheap to make and have nutritional value.


All items need to be counted, and quantities and quality are to be verified. Rejected and returned items must be deducted from the invoice before signing. Make sure those items are deducted in all the invoice copies. Before taking any supplies on board, the supplier should give you a delivery note.

Delivered items need to be checked against the delivery note to make sure everything is correct. The Chief Cook is responsible for thoroughly inspecting all items. Items that are out of date, spoiled, damaged, or unsuitable should be rejected. Check temperatures of frozen and chilled items. Provisions should be rejected if they have been delivered in a dangerous temperature range.


Invoices must be verified for accuracy, then stamped and signed by the Master. One copy should remain on board, and one copy should be given back to the supplier so that they can forward it to our office. Invoices may be replaced by delivery notes only.

Freezer Temperatures

Freezers must be maintained at a temperature of 0°F (-17.8°C) or lower. All food needs to be stored within a specific temperature range to guarantee food safety and to preserve food longer. It is your responsibility to ensure all storerooms are set at the required temperatures.

You should regularly check that temperatures are at the correct setting. If you notice anything unusual, you need to inform the Master immediately. It can be dangerous to consume food stored outside the required temperature range. Food should not be left uncovered in freezers as this can lead to freezer burn and waste.


It is essential to carry out a physical inventory of all storage areas to clarify the exact quantities of stock available onboard. Calculations are based on the number of provisions consumed versus the number of daily meals served.

Food inventories
Food inventories

To find out how much stock was consumed in a month, subtract the total amount of stock at the end of the month, from stock at the beginning when the inventory was taken (plus any additional purchases). The stock must be counted accurately; otherwise, the results will be misleading and inaccurate. Chief Cook's responsibility is to ensure that the inventories presented to shore management companies are entirely accurate. Inaccurate or "calculated" lists will not be accepted, and repeated false reports will be detrimental to his future employment.

An inventory management system helps to ensure cost control. The inventory refers to the items available in stores. There are two types of inventory:

Physical inventories refer to counting the actual number of each item and are usually taken on the last day of each month.

Perpetual inventories are continuous records of what is bought and issued. If manual records are kept, the constant list will alert management concerning items that need to be recorded, and when. It will also inform them if any items are overstocked. Food and beverage costs are calculated as follows:


Frequency of Inventory Taking

Physical Inventories should be taken:
  1. at the end of each month.
  2. Before placing an order for additional stock. An inventory of the required stock must be taken, and the results need to be included in the order list.
  3. Before the Chief Cook or Chief Steward are changed. An inventory must be carried out by both people. The handover form must be completed and signed by both crewmembers and the Master.

Related guideline

  1. Efficient cooking guideline for chief cook - five things to remember

  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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