1. Food Protection. Food must be protected from NBC contamination. Procedures for
subsistence protection must be a part of operational plans and SOPs at all levels of food
service and Class I operations. Consuming contaminated food may cause illness, injury,
or death. Food stored outdoors should be under overhead cover as mustard or VX agents
will damage or degrade most protective wraps. Some food items may be decontaminated
and consumed. However, decontamination is often a difficult and time-consuming
process. Subsistence must be stored in ways to provide maximum protection in the
presence of NBC contaminants. Planning for storage may mean the difference between
having edible or non-edible subsistence. Foods that are packed in cans, bottles, airtight
foil, or film wraps, as well as food packaged in sealed boxes or multi-layered wrappings
may be stored outdoors or in partially protected areas. Foods not packaged in this
manner must have covered storage inside if possible to protect them from NBC
2. Nuclear Contamination. The two types of nuclear contamination are induced
radiation and fallout. Induced radiation is not normally a food service problem as blast or
heat will normally destroy material stored in the induction zone. Food may be
contaminated by fallout miles away from the blast site. Overhead cover is essential or
items may become so heavily contaminated that decontamination becomes difficult or
impossible. Food that is packaged in cans or other sealed containers is not in danger of
contamination by fallout as long as it remains packaged. Foods not packaged in this way,
such as fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh meat, can be protected from fallout by
putting them in sealed containers. Insulated food containers and refrigerators are
excellent protection from fallout. Containers, such as sea and/or MILVANS, trucks with
containerized cargo areas, and trucks with covered cargo beds, also offer some
protection. If this type of protection is not available, place a canvas tarp or plastic sheet
over the items. This will make it easier to decontaminate them.
3. Biological Contamination. The two types of biological agents are pathogens and
toxins. Stringent sanitation in preparing and serving food will reduce contamination by
pathogens. Since pathogens may be spread by insects and rodents, insect and rodent
control is especially important. Toxins are poisonous substances produced by pathogens
and other organisms. To protect food from toxins, store it in sealed, airtight containers.
Decontaminate the containers before opening them.
4. Chemical Contamination. Chemical weapons release toxic chemicals. Food may be
protected from chemical contamination by placing it in a sealed, airtight container.
Containers must be decontaminated before the food can be consumed. If the unit
commander determines that the food must be decontaminated, follow the procedures
noted in the "Chemical" section. Chemically contaminated food is difficult to
decontaminate. Due to limits in the ability to detect contamination that is bound to other
materials, the use of such food will always pose a major risk.
5. Food Inspection. Food or water that may be contaminated by nuclear fallout or
biological or chemical agents must be inspected. The Army veterinary service has the
sole responsibility for monitoring and recommending food decontamination or