(1) Food. Except in rare cases of induced radiation, rations in cans
or other sealed containers are not in danger of radiological contamination.
Normally, the contamination is limited to the outer surface of the sealed
containers. To decontaminate the outer surface, remove the outer packaging
or wash or scrub the container under uncontaminated running water. If food
is not protected in sealed containers, then check for contamination.
Discard contaminated food unless there is no practical alternative. If the
unit commander determines that the food must be decontaminated, move all the
food from the contaminated area to a clean area.
(a) Hard-Skinned Items.
To decontaminate potatoes and hard-
skinned fruits and vegetables, wash or scrub them under uncontaminated
Peel or scrape them.
Wash them again.
contamination in creeks and streams. It may have come from a source in the
(b) Meat and Fish. Brush all visible dirt from the meat and the
fish. Washing is not recommended, so remove a thin layer of the meat or the
fish by stripping the surface. After you remove this layer, check it with a
If the dose-rate reading is low, the contamination likely is
confined to the surface. Clean the knife. Remove a second layer. Continue
the cutting-away process, within reason, until the dose-rate reading is near
that of the surrounding environment.
Since prepared foods in open
containers probably will be contaminated, bury or dispose of them as medical
personnel determine. Dispose of radiologically contaminated wash water and
trimmings the same way.
(c) Foods Contaminated by Induced Radiation.
The only way that
you can decontaminate foods that are contaminated by induced radiation is by
aging. Usually, aging requires fewer than 14 days. Carefully monitor these
foods to determine the progress of radioactive decay during aging. However,
the blast and the fire damage to food probably will make it inedible.
If you suspect that water is contaminated, contact the
water supply specialist who is in charge of the water point that you are
Normally, he is in the supporting DS supply company in the supply
and transport (S&T) company in an MSB. He is responsible for the quality
control of potable water. If there is no approved source of water, ensure
that the available water is inspected.
Use spring water or well water
instead of groundwater. In an emergency, you can decontaminate water that
is contaminated by fallout. Filter the water through successive layers of
leaves, gravel, fine sand, and charcoal. Also, disinfect the water.