VENDORS. In addition, personnel must be sure to KEEP PREPARED FOODS
SERVED TO SOLDIERS IN COMBAT AT SAFE TEMPERATURES. These preventive
BURY FOOD WASTE
It is critical that soldiers in the field bury their food waste. Food waste that is left
out wiII attract flies, insects, rodents, and other pests: flies and pests often carry the
microbes causing diseases that could seriously undermine the strength of a fighting
force. Burying food waste is a primary means of pest control at the front. As a
preventive medicine specialist, you must ensure that combat soldiers carry out this
simple countermeasure against disease. The experience of the American soldiers in
the countries of North Africa and the Middle East during World War II shows what can
happen when this important precaution is ignored.
AVOID BUYING FOOD ITEMS FROM LOCAL VENDORS
Again, this is a simple but effective countermeasure against foodborne illness.
Food and beverages obtained from local markets are uncontrolled with respect to
sanitary processing and handling. Contamination can occur due to a variety of reasons:
flies and other pests could contact the food; the vendors may not practice good
personal hygiene; the food could have been left in the temperature danger zone for too
long. In some countries, food can be infested with parasites. Soldiers in the field who
eat local food items run a high risk of contracting foodborne illness. When inspecting
combat areas, you must check to determine that troops are not consuming local foods
and beverages. The danger involved in consuming local food items is a lesson learned
from the intestinal disease outbreaks among the American troops occupying Lebanon in
1958 (para 3-2c). You will remember that eating food from the civilian areas was one of
the main reasons why the American soldiers in Lebanon became ill.
KEEP PREPARED FOODS AT SAFE TEMPERATURES
a. There wiII be times when prepared food has to be transported long distances.
When this occurs, maintaining the food at a safe temperature is critical in preventing
foodborne illness. Safe temperature means the temperature ranges that discourage
rapid bacterial growth, that is, 140 F and above or 45 F and below.