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Liquid Beverages for Mass Feeding
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Liquid Beverages for Mass Feeding

After an evacuation from a disaster a large number of people generally have to be fed and provided with refreshments.

These are my personal opinions.

For short periods of time (up to three weeks) taking care of people lose the milk ration, except as an addition to coffee.  It spoils easily. Transporting and keeping milk cold and fresh is labor intensive and uses up critical refrigeration capabilities. The issue comes up because a container of milk is listed in all the dietary guidelines for the elderly and childrem, and these become cast in stone when a disaster shows up. Helicopters have better things to do than airlift in milk. That is exactly what they were doing in a recent disaster I was involved in. This is all because some dietician put milk on a "list" that became part of Federal Feeding Guidelines. Children (babies being the exception) are perfectly capable of going without milk for an indefinite period.

Beverages in cold weather should include hot coffee, hot chocolate, and plenty of broth (chicken or beef).

The caffeine will keep people awake in critical positions.

Beverages in normal or hot weather should include mildly flavored drinks, such as lemonade, grape drink or orange aid.  They do not have to be overly sweet. Of course there should be water. Hydration of the evacuated persons is a high priority and the amount of flavored drink they will take in will be far more than if you only permit them to have water. A cup of flavored drink will encourage an additional cup of water. Flavored drinks are especially useful if the water supply has to be decontaminated by addition of chlorine or iodine. The flavor will make the drinks palatable.

Hot broth is easily prepared from stock of from concentrate. With the addition of a few vegetables or pasta, it becomes a palatable meal. There are lots of broth recipes.

If broth is served, do not allow the participants to use a scoop and pour the broth into the cup, over their hands and into the soup again. Very unsanitary. The server does this and uses a ladle with a "V" notch.

The best way to serve some pasta (shells are good) and broth is to have the pasta in a separate container, drained. A measure of pasta (an ice-cream scoop works well - one or two scoops) is placed in a cup, two slices of carrot then broth added until the cup is almost full. Any other way gives you some people with only broth and others with only pasta.
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Hot broth, vegetable, chicken or beef, makes an ideal inexpensive nighttime treat for emergency workers in inclement weather. It can be transported in a small van to virtually any location.

My experience is that the best system in such a situation is to separate the broth from any pasta or rice. The broth can be dispensed from a container with a spring-return valve, just like that of a large coffee urn.

Rice is a bit easier to handle on a large scale than pasta. It keeps a bit better.

A small ice-cream scoop with a "self-cleaning" spring arm is the best for adding rice.

One or two generous scoops of rice are added to the dry cup.

The cup is then placed under the valve connecting to the brother container, and filled.

If a plastic container is used to house the broth it must be cleaned throroughly before the next use.

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