Officers advanced training school - messing and catering



Officers advanced training school - messing and catering


Covers need for high standards of catering. catering supervisory organisation, station organisation, officers having messing responsibilities, duties of catering officer, universal messing, rations, ration drawing procedure, the document page 4 is too indistinct to read. Continues with inspection of cookhouse and dining halls, cooking, communal messing, staff, field service U.K. scheme, field cookery and pig and poultry keeping,



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[date stamp of No. 1 Officers Advanced Training School Jun 1945]
References: K.R. & A.C.I. Ch. XX Sect. 111; A.P. 837 Sec. 15 (revised); A.P. 87A (R.A.F. Manual of Catering); Catering Bulletin:
A.M.Os. – “A” Series:- 33/43, 34/43, 132/43 201/43, 204/43, 227/43, 567/43, 702/43, 885/43, 896/43, 226/44, 406/44, 543/44, 777/44; 88/45.
“N” Series:- 283/45 & 365/45.
[underlined] Need for High Catering Standards [/underlined]
1. The influence of good catering on the morale, efficiency and discipline of a station is undoubted and indisputable. Monotonous dietary, indifferent cooking and slipshod service bring about dis-satisfaction and resentment. Good catering on the other hand, will result in fitness and cheerfulness, and will mitigate or ease the discomfort and fatigue of life under active service conditions, particularly of those coming from civilian life.
It is therefore incumbent upon all who are responsible for administration and discipline to ensure that slackness and complacency in catering are not tolerated, and that all reasonable assistance is given to those responsible for catering duties on R.A.F. Stations. The personal interest of station and unit commanders and senior administrative officers will encourage the station catering organisation to reach and maintain satisfactory standards.
[underlined] Catering Supervisory Organisation [/underlined]
2. (a) [underlined] Air Ministry [/underlined] – The supervision of catering is the responsibility of the Director General of Equipment. R.A.F. Supplies Liaison Officers, on the establishment of Air Ministry, are attached to each Army Command Headquarters, and can advise stations on matters relating to R.A.S.C. and N.A.A.F.I. supplies.
(b) [underlined] Commands [/underlined] – At all Home Commands and certain Group Headquarters, Catering Officers are borne on the staff of the Senior Equipment Staff Officer. They are responsible to their A.O.C. in C. or A.O.C. for questions of supplies, catering and food production at Stations within the Command.
(c) [underlined] Stations [/underlined] – The Senior Administrative Officer is responsible to the Station Commander for the catering standards of the station. The supervision of catering is done either by a Station Catering Officer or Warrant Officer Caterer, established for the purpose or, on small stations, by a Wing or Regional Officer who should visit to supervise and assist. Station Catering Officers have duties and responsibilities for the demanding, safe custody and distribution of all food supplies and emergency rationing. (A.M.Os. A.33/43 and A.34/43).
[underlined] Station Organisation [/underlined]
3. (a) [symbol] [underlined] Station Messing Committee [/underlined] – consists of
S.Ad.O president
Catering Officer
W.A.A.F. ‘G’ Officer
Representatives of Officers and Sergeants Messes
Representatives of Airman’s and Airwoman’s Messes
Senior Cooks
Institute Manager – should be co-opted as an ex-officia member.
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(b) Committee meets weekly – considers suggestions and complaints on Station Messing. Approves the basic diet sheet prepared by Catering Officer – from a general diet sheet emanating from Command or Group. Deals with various matters such as Staff, Rest Rooms, Hygiene and the like. Basic Diet sheet signed when approved by President, S.M.C., M.O., and Station Commander. Full Minutes of Meetings recorded – C.O. should see them at regular intervals.
[underlined] Officers having Messing Responsibilities [/underlined]
4. Station Commander, S.Ad.O., Catering Officer, M.O., Accountant Officer, Orderly Officer.
[underlined] Duties of Catering Officer [/underlined]
5. These are many and varied, the principal are
(a) Rations – demanding, safe-custody, issue, Reserve but excluding Air Crew Emergency Rations,
(b) Excessive under or over-drawing of Rations does not occur,
(c) No undue accumulation of food-stocks. Precautions against deterioration and fraud.
(d) Foodstuffs NOT contaminated in Kitchens and Ration Stores. Gas, Flies, Mice, Rats etc.
(e) By-Products,
(f) Cleanliness and Hygiene,
(g) Economy – eliminating waste caused by indifferent catering and cooking,
(h) [underlined] Staff [/underlined] – Welfare, training, supervision, duties, leave and off duty periods. Trade Testing, reclassification, promotion etc. and Field Cooking.
(j) [underlined] Generally [/underlined] – Drawing of Rations (F.140). Supervision of preparation of food in all Messes. Service at Meals, and the provision of varied, adequate, well-cooked and well-presented food.
(h) [sic] [underlined] The Catering Officer [/underlined] is not permitted to be allotted such specific duties as Officers’ Mess Secretary, Bar Officer, Messing Officer, Inventory Holder, President S.M.C. or Officer i/c Sergeants Mess. He can perform the duties of Orderly Officer. He is also not permitted to purchase foodstuffs for Officers and Sergeants Messes otherwise than from N.A.A.F.I. (A.M.O’s A.33/34 of 1943.)
[underlined] Universal Messing [/underlined]
6. [symbol] Introduced throughout R.A.F. on 1st March, 1943. Reasons:-
(a) To standardise Catering procedure
(b) To overcome competition in local markets for foodstuff supply.
(c) To ensure a standard dietary for all ranks.
Applicable to all Station Messes – Officers, N.C.O’s and Airman’s (Airwomen’s). Officers and N.C.O’s Messes can take full advantage of facilities offered by N.A.A.F.I. Officers and N.C.O’s Messes are at liberty to purchase from Mess Funds. “Extras” to improve or supplement Messing and to run their own kitchens. The purchasing of extras [deleted] are [/deleted] [inserted] is [/inserted] not made through the Catering Officer and is purely a Mess affair (Officers or Sergeants). The value of the “Supper Element” is recovered from Officers Messes. (A.M.O. A.34/43).
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[underlined] Rations [/underlined]
7. (a) [underlined] SOURCES R.A.S.C. [/underlined] supply all rationed foodstuffs – excepting bacon and butter supplied by N.A.A.F.I. Certain other commodities are supplied by N.A.A.F.I., i.e. Tinned Goods, Porridge and other cereals and vegetables.
(b) [underlined] TYPES [/underlined] (i) Standard Ration issued at home to those messed collectively.
(ii) Field Service issued abroad generally – at home under certain conditions.
(iii) Personal Rations issued to non-members of Messes, i.e. married personnel living in Married Quarters.
(c) VALUES – [underlined] Daily Ration entitlement. [/underlined] For units with a total Messing Strength of [underlined] over 100 [/underlined] (below 100 difference values).
R.A.F. Airmen – 1/7 3/4d. – W.A.A.F. Airwomen 1/5 1/2d.)
Officers 1/4 1/4d – Officers 1/2d)
late Apr 1945 to 31st Jul. 1945.
Additional allowance of 3/4d. for cocoa for personnel on special night duty.
The airmen’s ration entitlement is admissible for airwomen in all Messes where meals are prepared cooked and served from the same Kitchen. Similarly R.A.F. Officers entitlement value will be admissible for W.A.A.F. Officers. Under these arrangements the combined strength – men and women are to be used in determining entitlement. (A.M.0. N.365/45 and
(i) Extra supplies of normal rations – for post operational breakfasts.
(ii) Supplies of easily digested foodstuffs – milk, eggs, oranges etc.
(iii) Rations for consumption in the air on flights of over 4 hours.
(iv) Emergency Flying Rations. (A.P. 837 para. [deleted] 466 [/deleted] [inserted] 508 [/inserted] A.M.O. A.567/43). Responsibility of Equipment Officer.
(v) Fresh Milk – 1/2 pt. per day is additional to normal entitlement for personnel under 18.
(vi) Fresh Milk – may be provided for airwomen at scale of 4 oz. per day.
(e) [underlined] MONEY ALLOWANCE IN LIEU – DAILY RATES [underlined]
[heading] [blank] – [underlined] Officers – Airmen & Airwomen [/underlined] [/heading]
(i) Lower rate (R.A.F.) – 1/4d. – 1/8d.
Lower rate (W.A.A.F.) – 1/2d. – 1/5d.
(ii) Higher rate (R.A.F. & W.A.A.F.) – 2/9d. – 3/2d.
(iii) Leave rate (R.A.F. & W.A.A.F.) – 3/4d. – 3/4d.
See A.P. 837 Sec. 37 para. 1011 (A.M.O. N.1229/44).
[underlined] Ration Drawing Procedure [/underlined]
8. The Catering Officer demands on the R.A.S.C. on F.140 (Quad.) for rations for the whole station, and after subtraction of the cost of this from the entitlement he knows how much he can spend at the N.A.A.F.I. Goods from the R.A.S.C. are normally collected by station transport and delivered to the main ration store, and there split up in proportion to the strength of the messes. N.A.A.F.I. purchases are normally requisitioned in bulk on F.848A, broken down, and distributed to messes by the Station Catering Officer. If, due to local conditions, the Station Commander decides that supplies should be broken down and delivered direct to messes from the N.A.A.F.I., the Station Commander is to satisfy himself that correct distribution is made.
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[underlined] Consequences of Ration Figures [/underlined]
9. [underlined] The Squadron Adjutant [/underlined] is responsible for the correct rendition of ration strengths to the catering officer daily. In view, however, of the re-allocation of certain administrative duties – where the Senior Accountant Officer has taken over such duties; he is responsible for ensuring that the correct messing strength figures are furnished to the Catering Officer daily.
[underlined] Casual Meals [/underlined]
10. Served to living out officers and visitors to a Mess. Mess charged with the cost on these meals as recovery to Public funds at the M.P.R.A. ([missing word] rebated by 6d. – at present 2/8d. Rations are claimed for these meals on basis of 1/3rd of days entitlement for breakfast and mid-day meal and 1/6th for tea and supper.
Most essential that a correct record is kept of these meals and that proper charges are made to living-out officers and visitors. (A.M.O. A.777/44, A.M.0. N.1229/44).
[underlined] Security [missing word] [/underlined]
11. Essential that rations are checked both on arrival at Station and on distribution. Might check on stock-keeping arrangements all issues [three missing words].
Under Food Centre conditions FOOD is great TEMPTATION – THEFT, SHORT DELIVERY of RATIONS must be prevented by constant checking and vigilance. C.O. should appoint an independent officer to make periodical snap checks of main ration store.
Orderly Officer is an essential link in the Catering organisation. He should check quantities and weights of incoming rations and supervise distribution. Should NOT sign F.140 until fully satisfied.
[underlined] By-Products [/underlined]
12. Money received for the sale of swill, inedible fats and bones is credited to the By-Products Account which is expended by the Catering Officer, in proportion to the strengths of the Messes, on articles calculated to improve the messing, e.g. saucepans, tea-urns, pie-making machinery. The account moneys are banked jointly with P.S.I.
Swill is sold for the Camp as a whole and includes swill from the N.A.A.F.I. under contract at the fixed rate of 15/-d per 100 personnel per month. Inedible fats are mainly obtained from grease-traps. (A.M.O. A.227/43, A.88/45).
[underlined] Cookhouse Hygiene [/underlined]
13. Kitchen and Dining halls must be clean – spotlessly clean. Filth and dirt will cause disease. Unclean habits among cooks can easily cause an epidemic on the Station. Following are important points.
(a) Washing facilities in cookhouse and toilets for staff – clean towels, soap and NAIL BRUSHES. (Issue 1 N.B. to each wash basin).
(b) Cooks – clean white clothing. Entitlement Airman Cook 4 complete sets.
Entitlement Airwoman Cook 6 White Overalls, 4 White Caps.
(c) Cookhouse machinery needs careful attention and should be sterilised daily. Mincing Machines may be polished on top – but no crawling with maggots inside.
(d) Flies, rats and mice are a great source of danger to health – by food contamination. Fly-papers and mouse traps can be obtained from N.A.A.F.I. and can be paid for from By-products Fund.
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[underlined] Inspection of Cookhouse and Dining Halls [/underlined]
14. Points to be looked for by an inspecting officer:-
(a) Cleanliness – particularly stores and larders.
(b) Ventilation
(c) Windows fly-proofed
(d) Drains – interior and exterior, should be clean and unchoked.
(e) All, oven doors (wet and dry) opened and inspected
(f) Wash-up rooms require special attention
(g) Look for traces of mice and rats
(h) Except Cats – no other pets
(j) Swill bins clean and covered. No refuse on ground.
(k) Machinery clear and in working order
(l) First-aid equipment available
(m) All food – particularly fresh meat, covered with muslin or meat covers
(n) Roster of duties and day’s off for current week
(o) Fire Buckets and Extinguishers – ready for use
(p) No smoking in preparation rooms and kitchen
(q) No clothing, or uniforms lying around
(r) Mats and Shoe Scrapers outside entrances.
[underlined] Cooking [/underlined]
15. The whole standard of feeding depends on the treatment the rations receive; the rations themselves are very rarely at fault. Constant supervision is essential to ensure that good food is not spoilt by indifferent cooking; the usual manifestation of this being the automatic adoption of the easiest method of preparing the meat for the table, for example, stew, instead of curry or meat pie. Ensure that the best use is made of food available.
Watch the service and method of presentation. Well cooked food becomes unappetising if the service is slow or slapdash. Insist upon quick, neat, service. Cooks should be instructed, before the meal begins, of the correct amount of food to place on each plate. This will avoid irregular portions and also the danger of the food supply running out. Vegetables should be served on the self-help principle. Cooks should be dressed in clean whites when serving. Hands must be clean. Finger nails must be clean and not long.
If large numbers have to be fed, every effort should be made to get the queue inside the dining room in inclement weather.
Swill bins should be watched and a check kept upon excessive waste. Orderly N.C.Os. should be on duty in the dining hall at all meal times to preserve order and to prevent food being thrown into swill bins.
[underlined] Communal Messing [/underlined]
16. In general R.A.F. and W.A.A.F. feed together. This has obvious advantages from an economy viewpoint, but needs attention to ensure that the W.A.A.F. interests are not completely subordinated.
Shortage of food has removed the objection that they require different food, but they do want it served well and made as attractive as possible, and it is essential that they are well represented on the S.M.C., not merely in numbers, but by women able to put forward the W.A.A.F. point of view. There should also be a W.A.A.F. member of the Corporal’s Club Committee. Where R.A.F. and W.A.A.F. feed together rations are drawn for all at the men’s scale. The W.A.A.F. Orderly Officer should inspect the cookhouse at night when airwomen are working there.
[underlined] Staff [/underlined]
17. Cookhouse staff have one of the hardest and most disagreeable jobs on the Station – they work at irregular hours are often called upon to
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17 Contd…
perform long and arduous spells of duty – are frequently overlooked from the Welfare point of view.
Rest rooms should be provided either in or adjacent to the Cookhouse. Should be comfortable with means of recreation, periodicals, radio, gramaphone [sic] – funds can be obtained from P.S.I. or By-Products Fund. Hours of work should not exceed 50 – 54 hours per week – one clear day off duty each week – so far as is possible notified a week in advance. This is particularly appreciated by W.A.A.F. personnel – shopping – hair-waving etc. etc.
A little thought and organisation in Staff management will be amply repaid.
[underlined] Field Service U.K. Scheme [/underlined]
18. Alternative arrangements exist on a basis of one man, one ration, one source. Should transport considerations make it advisable, units go over to F.S. (U.K.). This means that N.A.A.F.I. is cut out, the R.A.S.C. assuming complete responsibility for provisioning the unit. The ration is generous but care is needed to ensure that the best use is made of it, as there is a tendency with increased amounts but fewer ingredients for the food to lack variety.
[underlined] Field Cookery [/underlined]
19. It is essential that all cooks, R.A.F. and W.A.A.F. should be conversant with cooking under field conditions. An improvised field kitchen should be erected, by the cooks, using only scrap metal, empty tins, etc.
The following points should be taught:-
(a) Camouflage (Natural)
(b) Hygiene and Sanitation. Grease traps. Incinerator.
(c) General lay out of field kitchen.
(d) Cooking by waste oil and water.
(e) Purification of water.
(f) Composition of ration packs.
(A.P. 87A, Part IV, paras. 110-122).
[underlined] Pig and Poultry Keeping [/underlined]
20. For permission application through Group or Command H.Q. to A.M. E.46. No stock to be purchased until permission granted. Application to keep pigs off confines of station not allowed. No pig may be slaughtered without licence from Area Meat and Live Stock Officer of Ministry of Food. Meat and offal from slaughtered pigs may only be consumed by members of unit [underlined] and on no account sold or given away [/underlined] to other Messes at other stations. The price charged not to exceed the current R.A.S.C. price. (A.M.O. A.180/42). A.M.O. A.283/45.
[underlined] REMEMBER [/underlined]
It is incontestable that good cooking and messing have a most important bearing on the meaintenance [sic] of morale and good discipline. If service personnel are well fed, properly housed and their creature comforts are adequately safeguarded, they will respond readily to all demands made upon them, and in time of crisis and stress they will not fail.
[underlined] Amendments to this Precis: [/underlined]


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