The following paragraphs prescribe the methods to
be used in decontaminating eating, drinking, and galley
utensils; galley and foodservice equipment; and
messing areas that are contaminated by chemical agents.
After the surrounding areas have been
decontaminated, the entire general mess should be
aerated thoroughly and the entire area washed down
inside and out with safe water.
All equipment and
utensils used in the preparation and service of food
should be washed carefully using normal procedures.
Spaces, utensils, and equipment should then be tested
with the chemical agent detector kit and, if necessary,
any of the prescribed procedures should be repeated.
Light Liquid Contamination
The messing area inside and out should be washed
with hot water. You may add an alkaline detergent, such
as a standard general-purpose detergent, and if applied
at high pressure, it will increase the waters
effectiveness. As an alternative method, for mustard
gas, you may apply a bleach solution to all surfaces.
After washing down, aerate the entire area. If slight
contamination remains, the area should be heated to as
high a temperature as possible for about 1 to 2 hours.
Then the spaces should be opened and ventilated for 15
minutes. Repeat the procedure as necessary, testing at
intervals with a chemical agent detector kit. Porous
objects, such as meat blocks and wooden benches, may
absorb liquid contamination to the extent that they will
have to be destroyed. Metal, glass, or china utensils or
any equipment that is not damaged by water should be
immersed for 30 minutes in actively boiling water. Add
1 cupful of alkaline detergent to each 5 gallons of water.
Upon completion of the boiling process, you should
follow normal dishwashing procedures. Plastics
generally cannot withstand boiling water and should be
Heavy Contamination of Liquid
Heavy contamination of liquid is unlikely, except
from a direct hit, in which case recovery of the space
and contents will be a major undertaking. However,
when such is the case, the following procedures are
Space should be roped off or abandoned as
unsalvageable, as no amount of washing or scrubbing of
a porous surface that is heavily contaminated by a liquid
chemical agent (particularly mustard gas) is likely to do
Metal, glass, or china utensils or any equipment that
is not damaged by water should be decontaminated in
the same manner as prescribed for light contamination
of liquid discussed earlier.
Large equipment unsuited for immersion in boiling
water should be scrubbed vigorously with DS2 solution
or hot water and an alkaline detergent, rinsed,
disassembled, and scrubbed again paying particular
attention to any parts not reached in the assembled state
that are reachable in the disassembled state. Then, the
equipment should be rinsed, dried, oiled, greased, and
reassembled. Wooden items should be removed and
On electrical equipment, unless the electrical unit is
enclosed in a watertight seal, water must not be used in
the decontamination process. Electrical equipment
should be cleaned with trichloroethane or DS2 solution.
All greases must be removed, bearings cleaned, and the
Trichloroethane and DS2 are toxic chemicals.
Protective clothing and respirators should be worn when
they are used, and the MSDSs should be consulted for
Careful inspection must be made of the general
situation before large quantities of food or water
suspected of chemical agent contamination are
Contaminated food and water must be
destroyed in some cases; in other cases, they may be
salvaged by special decontamination procedures. In
any event, the responsibility belongs to the medical
department to determine whether food or water
contaminated by chemical agents should be
decontaminated or destroyed.