prevent the growth of microorganisms in potentially hazardous foods. Their purpose is
to provide food that is protected from contamination until consumed by the individual
soldier. No diarrhea or intestinal diseases appeared during the early phase of the
occupation, even though field sanitation facilities and practices left much to be desired.
Later, B rations were introduced. B rations are prepared with kitchen facilities and can
become contaminated more readily than can C rations. In addition, troops were allowed
to visit civilian areas where many ate local foods and drank local beverages. Intestinal
disease soon became a problem. The incidence increased until as many as 85 men per
1,000 were reporting weekly to dispensaries for intestinal disease symptoms. In
addition, stool specimens from 2,200 apparently healthy soldiers were obtained in
Lebanon; 85 were found to be positive for Shigella contracted In Lebanon.
d. These are two examples of how diseases associated with food weakened the
strength of American field troops. Many other examples exist, dating back to Biblical
times. There are some basic lessons to be learned from these experiences. These
lessons can be summarized in three simple but highly effective countermeasures that
will greatly reduce foodborne illness among soldiers in combat. These
(1) Bury food waste.
(2) Avoid local vendors.
(3) Make sure potentially hazardous foods are kept at safe temperatures.
e. Lesson 3 will discuss food sanitation in field situations and will focus on these
FIELD AND FULL-SERVICE FOOD FACILITIES
a. The primary goal of field food service operations is to feed soldiers in the
immediate area of combat, especially those soldiers at the forward edge of the battle or
who are engaged in military operations outside of food supply lines. Food service
operations in combat will have very limited or no kitchen and refrigeration capabilities.
These operations contrast with full-service facilities that have cooking and refrigeration
equipment as well as trained food service personnel.
b. However, the field includes more than the front lines; for example, supply and
communication operations are carried on in the field behind the front. Further back in
the field, full-service facilities or facilities with similar or partial services may occur. For
example, a field food service facility may have a kitchen but not complete refrigeration
equipment or the equipment used may be simpler than that found at a large full-service