(2) Heating. Heat is the best way to decontaminate biologically contaminated
food. Thorough cooking reduces contamination to a safe level. Decontaminate foods by
one of the heat methods in the tables (8-1 and 8-2) below. The type of food and the
amount of contamination determines which procedure should be used. Make sure that the
heat completely penetrates the food for the time shown.
Cook items in a pressure-type cooker
(autoclave) at 15-lbs. pressure at 250 degrees
Fahrenheit for 15 minutes or cook in a low-
pressure cooker at 228 degrees F for one hour.
Bake items such as bread or related items in a
preparatory stage for 40 minutes at 400 degrees
F. Bake meat at 325 degrees F for about two
Boil certain items for at least 15 minutes as an
expedient method when no other method is
Table 8-1. Heat methods of decontamination
Type of Food
*Mustard agent (vapor) or
Food having a high fat content
DO NOT USE. DISCARD.
(butter, lard, ham, cheese,
bacon, fatty meat, and fish).
*Nerve agent (vapor)
Trim away fat and grossly
contaminated areas. Wash
food with water or a solution
of 2% sodium bicarbonate.
Then air for 48 hours.
*DO NOT attempt to decontaminate food that has been exposed to mustard or nerve agent in a
Table 8-2. Treatment of food tainted with toxic chemicals.
c. Chemical. Decontaminate food items that have been exposed to chemical agents
as shown in table 8-2 above. FM 3-5 and Fm 8-10-7 provide more detailed guidance.