temperature of 180°F to 200°F when food is placed on
This temperature should be maintained
always while food is on the serving line. Temperatures
below this range will not keep food hot enough. Higher
temperatures will cause overcooking and ultimately ruin
both the taste and the appearance of the food.
As the petty officer in charge of the serving line, you
have the responsibility for keeping food on the serving
line for the entire meal. You should make sure food is
replenished in a timely manner and not allow the line to
be held up.
Replenish by removing the inserts or containers and
replacing them with fresh filled ones. Never dump food
into inserts already on the serving line.
Empty inserts should be kept off the decks and
serving lines. They should be sent to the deep sink for
cleaning and sanitizing after each use. They should not
be allowed to build up until the completion of the meal.
Customer Service During the Meal
Customer service does not end with the serving line.
Other important customer service considerations are
clean tables and chairs with adequate supplies of
napkins, salt and pepper shakers, and condiments.
Patrons also like peace and quiet with courteous
foodservice attendants and messdeck masters-at-arms
Maintaining the Messing Area
Sanitary practices that should be followed in the
preparation and in the serving of the food have been
discussed. It is equally important to maintain the mess
area in an orderly and sanitary manner during the meal
and to clean it thoroughly after the meal.
The tabletops should always be kept scrupulously
clean. They should be scrubbed and sanitized after each
meal. This should be done with hot soapy water and
rinsed with clear water to which a germicide solution
has been added. Germicide and fungicide solutions are
standard stock items and may be ordered through supply
charnels. The sanitizing Solution should be changed as
frequently as necessary to ensure a clean solution.
After each meal the salt, pepper, and condiment
containers should be thoroughly wiped with a mild
detergent solution and then refilled. Once each week
the salt and pepper shakers should be emptied,
prewashed, and put through the dishwashing machine.
These containers should be arranged in the same order
on all tables. The method recommended is to place the
taller containers in the center and arrange the others
around them in graduated order of height.
Foodservice personnel assigned to the messing area
should be instructed to check the messing area
continuously during the serving period. Spilled food on
the deck is a safety hazard and should be cleaned up
Dinnerware should be washed after each meal and
made ready for the next meal. Before storing the clean
utensils, the cabinet should be inspected for cleanliness.
Trays and bowls should be at the head of the serving
line; silverware may be placed at the head of the line but
it is recommended that it be placed at the end of the line.
Cups and glasses should be located near the beverage
dispensers. All items of dinnerware should be inspected
to make sure they are spotlessly clean and not chipped,
cracked, or bent. An inventory should be taken once a
week to be sure there is enough dinnerware to last the
entire serving period.
Thus far, our discussions have centered primarily on
the various aspects of preparing and serving the food in
the GM. While this is an important part of your job, it
is only one part. You have other duties. They include
maintaining a clean, sanitary messing area, setting the
tables for regular and formal meals for officers, and
estimating the proper seating arrangements for the
officers and their guests.
The wardroom is usually a multipurpose area. It is
the officers dining area and lounge. It is an area where
officers gather for social functions, entertainment, to
conduct business, and to hold conferences.
Usually family-style foodservice will be provided
in a wardroom. However, other factors determine the
type of service used in a wardroom. These factors are
specific wardroom design, the number of foodservice
personnel assigned, and the desires of the mess president
and commanding officer. Regardless of the type used,
the service should be carried out properly.
The success of a meal often depends on how it is
served. Good foodservice is not easy to give and
requires knowledge, training, and planning. All of this