food to test it for chemical agents. Use the M8A1 automatic chemical agent alarm and
the M256 chemical agent detector kit to detect the presence of toxic chemicals. Note that
M8A1, M256, M8, and M9 papers cannot be used to determine contamination of
foodstuffs. The CAM is being fielded as the primary Army Chemical Agent Monitor.
Also, the unit should have chemical agent paper (M8 and M9) to detect and identify
agents on containers, personnel, and equipment. Operating instructions for the chemical
agent alarm are in TM 3-6665-225-12. Operating instructions for the chemical agent
monitor kit are in TM 3-6665-307-10. Chemical agents in water can be detected with the
M272 detector kit. Maximum allowable concentrations are in TB MED 577.
7. Disposal. Generally, food and water in airtight containers can be consumed after the
containers have been decontaminated. Discard unprotected food and water except in
extreme emergencies. Decontaminate unprotected food and water only when there is no
practical alternative. All disposed contaminated items must be marked and treated as
8. Decontamination. Methods of decontaminating subsistence are described below.
Dispose of foods that cannot be decontaminated according to local laws or military
regulations. If food preparation equipment or food service personnel have been exposed
to NBC agents they must be decontaminated. Personnel are decontaminated with the
M258-series decontamination kit. Food service equipment should be decontaminated by
power-driven decontamination equipment or by steam cleaners. A hot water and soapy
wash must follow to insure all decontaminates are removed before food products can be
a. Nuclear. There are certain procedures to follow when food and water have been
impossible to decontaminate meat, fish, etc., due to absorption of the radioactive salts
found in fallout. Normally, the contamination will be limited to the outer surface.
Decontaminate by removing the outer packaging or by washing or scrubbing the
container under uncontaminated running water. Water runoff from decontamination
operations must be captured and treated as a hazard. Food that is not protected in sealed
containers must be suspected of contamination until it is checked. If the unit Commander
determines that the food must be decontaminated, move all foods from the contaminated
area to a clean area. Decontaminate potatoes and hard-skinned fruits and vegetables by
washing or scrubbing them under uncontaminated running water and then peeling or
scraping them and washing them again. Brush all visible dirt from meat and fish;
washing is not recommended. A thin layer may be stripped from the surface of meat or
fish. After the outer layer is removed from the food, check it with a radiac set. If the
dose-rate reading has become lower, the contamination probably was confined to the
surface of the food. Clean the knife and remove a second layer. The cutting away
process may be continued, within reason, until the dose-rate reading is near that of the
surrounding environment. Since prepared food in open containers probably will be
contaminated, bury or dispose of it as determined by designated medial personnel.
Dispose of radiologically contaminated wash water and trimmings the same way. Food