All equipment and utensils used in food service facilities under Navy and Marine Corps jurisdiction must be made of sanitary, nontoxic, corrosion-resist ant materials. They must be designed, constructed, and installed to provide for ease of cleaning. Such equipment must not contain inaccessible spaces. All such spaces must be sealed to prevent the entrance of food particles and vermin. Equipment and utensils must be constructed for easy maintenance. Food service personnel cannot be expected to maintain sanitary standards if equipment or utensils cannot be easily cleaned because of improper construction or deteriorated condition, if special or unusual handling and dismantling tools are required, or if the labor is exceedingly tedious, heavy, or time-consuming. For food service equipment to comply with Navy sanitary standards, Medical Department personnel must be consulted prior to local procurement and installation. Equipment must be installed at least 6 inches (8 inches aboard ship) from walls, floors, and adjacent equipment; or sealed to the wall, floor, and adjacent equipment on all sides.
All food service spaces will be provided with hot and cold running potable water under pressure to all lavatories and equipment which require it. With the exception of NAVMEDCOM approved shipboard food waste grinding machines and refrigeration units that use salt water, all food service spaces and equipment must be free from salt water and other nonpotable water inlets. All potable water inlets and connections must be free of cross-connections. A submerged potable water inlet is a cross-connection.
All surfaces that come into direct contact with food must be impervious, corrosion-resistant, and smooth. Cadmium plating, lead, and other harmful materials must not be used in food service equipment or utensils. Wooden paddles and other devices made of wood are likewise prohibited.
Extensive tests have shown that many communicable diseases are transmitted by improperly washed and inadequately sanitized utensils and equipment. These items, including removable equipment components, may be washed by hand or machine; however, if available, machine dishwashing is preferred. Whatever method is used, the final results depend on the knowledge, skill, and conscientiousness of the dishwasher as well as the equipment and materials available. Equipment maintenance and properly trained operators are key elements to good dishwashing.
Contamination of clean and sanitized dishware can be prevented by eliminating cross-handling of soiled and clean items from splashes or sprays. The flow of dishware and utensils must be from soiled areas (scraping and preflushing) to clean areas (storage) to minimize the possibility of contamination from soiled articles.
Towel drying of dishware and utensils is strictly prohibited, as is the use of dishmops, sponges, or cloths for dishwashing. A sufficient amount of sanitary storage space must be provided to prevent contamination of clean and sanitized articles. Storage of dishware and utensils in sculleries that have approved salt water garbage grinders is prohibited. A sufficient supply of dining gear should be available to prevent the recycling of inadequately cleaned, wet, or hot dishware and utensils.
Approved procedures for both manual and machine dishwashing are contained in the Manual of Naval Preventive Medicine, chapter 1.
The proper washing and sanitizing of mess gear and utensils used in the preparation and serving of food in the field is essential to the continuing health of the unit. This becomes particularly difficult since all unit members are expected to wash their own mess gear.
A model field dishwashing unit consists of five GI cans in a line as illustrated in figure 5-2.
Long-handled brushes are attached to the first and second wash cans. In actively boiling water, immersion for 30 seconds in the rinse cans is sufficient for sanitization and will promote rapid air-drying. An additional can may be added for prerinsing before eating; this water should be freely boiling.
With the additional pressures placed on individuals in the field environment, sanitization of mess gear may not receive proper attention. Consequently, close supervision in the washing area is required.