23-50. Assume that all animals, regardless of their habitat or living conditions, were exposed to radiation. The effects of radiation on animals are similar to those on humans. Thus, most of the wild animals living in a fallout area are likely to become sick or die from radiation during the first month after the nuclear explosion. Although animals may not be free from harmful radioactive materials, you can and must use them in survival conditions as a food source if other foods are not available. With careful preparation and by following several important principles, animals can be safe food sources.
23-51. First, do not eat an animal that appears to be sick. It may have developed a bacterial infection because of radiation poisoning. Contaminated meat, even if thoroughly cooked, could cause severe illness or death if eaten.
23-52. Carefully skin all animals to prevent any radioactive particles on the skin or fur from entering the body. Do not eat meat close to the bones and joints as an animal's skeleton contains over 90 percent of the radioactivity. However, the remaining animal muscle tissue will be safe to eat. Before cooking it, cut the meat away from the bone, leaving at least a 3-millimeter (1/8-inch) thickness of meat on the bone. Discard all internal organs (heart, liver, and kidneys) since they tend to concentrate beta and gamma radioactivity.
23-53. Cook all meat until it is very well done. To be sure the meat is well done, cut it into less than 13-millimeter-thick (4 1/2-inch-thick) pieces before cooking. Such cuts will also reduce cooking time and save fuel.
23-54. The extent of contamination in fish and aquatic animals will be much greater than that of land animals. This is also true for water plants, especially in coastal areas. Use aquatic food sources only in conditions of extreme emergency.
23-55. All eggs, even if laid during the period of fallout, will be safe to eat. Completely avoid milk from any animals in a fallout area because animals absorb large amounts of radioactivity from the plants they eat.