All foods for the enlisted dining facilities must be procured in accordance with federal and military standards. Except in emergencies, local purchase of food items by naval activities within the United States are limited to fresh bakery items, fresh dairy products, and items designated for local purchase in the Federal Supply Catalog.
All foodstuffs procured for the Armed Forces undergo rigid inspections and are subject to various federal and military specifications covering sizes, grades, appearance, and type. These inspections are performed by DPSC quality assurance representatives (QARs), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Commerce (USDC), technically qualified inspectors employed by Navy activities and organic to the command, Navy receiving officers, and medical officers and their designated representatives. Army veterinarian personnel are also available to assist Navy commands in most geographical areas.
The supply officer is responsible for procuring, receiving, inspecting, and storing foodstuffs.
The food service officer is in charge of the food service division in a command. He or she is accountable for foodborne illness resulting from improper food preparation, serving or storing.
Other responsibilities include:
The medical officer or the Medical Department representative is responsible for:
Meals served in the enlisted dining facility must be sampled regularly by an office; detailed by the commanding officer (usually the officer of the day).
Occasionally, food items are received that have not been inspected by technically qualified personnel. All food items delivered directly to the facility by vendors will be inspected by the medical officer or his or her representative to ensure fitness for human consumption. The food service officer or the designated representative will inspect the food items to ascertain the exact quantity received and inspected, as above, in accordance with NAVMED P-5010-1. Food items not satisfying the above may be rejected.
Food about which there is any doubt must be rejected as unfit for human consumption. To avoid the risk of foodborne illness, observe the old adage When in doubt, throw it out.
The medical officer is responsible for ensuring that all food served in the commands enlisted dining facility is fit for human consumption. If any food appears questionable or has been purchased on the local market or under contracts requiring inspection at destination, the food service officer must request an inspection. The medical officer or the designated representative will perform the inspection and submit samples for laboratory analysis in accordance with the Manual of Naval Preventive Medicine.
Medical Department personnel concerned with food inspections ashore should maintain liaison with local personnel of the military veterinary services or USDA inspectors to keep current on the information and techniques involved in such inspections.