Under the Maritime Labour Convention 2006 (‘MLC’):
- A seafarer has the right to good quality food and drinking water provided under regulated hygienic conditions.
- Food and drinking water must be of appropriate quality, nutritional value and quantity, taking into account the requirements of the ship and the differing cultural and religious backgrounds of seafarers on the ship.
- Food must be free of charge.
- Full-time and fully-qualified cooks are not always required. The size of the ship and the number of daily meals required are factors that will decide this.
- Seafarers employed as ships’ cooks with responsibility for preparing food must be trained and qualified for their positions.
- Seafarers working as ships’ cooks must not be less than 18 years old.
- Frequent and documented inspections of food and water supplies and catering facilities must be carried out by the master or a designate.