Please, entrust these people with your lives!

Recently, I derided the WTO for producing a 101-page document about sardines. If you think the U.S. military is a better-oiled (no pun intended) organization, let me introduce you to the wonderful world of MILSPEC. MILSPEC writes specification documents for army purchases, from H-bombs to underpants. Let me quote from the 23-page (!) specification for oatmeal cookies and chocolate-covered brownies. As far as I can tell it's about how to open the packaging:

"Delamination shall be scored as a defect except delamination of outer ply when located in the seal area 1/16 inch or further from food product edge of seal. Bags exhibiting this type of delamination shall be tested by manually flexing the delaminated area 10 times. The delaminated area shall be held between thumb and forefinger of each hand with both thumbs and forefingers touching each other. The delaminated area shall then be rapidly flexed by rotating both hands in alternating clockwise-counterclockwise directions. Care shall be exercised when flexing delaminated area near the tear notches to avoid tearing the bag material. After flexing, the separated outer ply shall be grasped between the thumb and forefinger and gently lifted toward the food product edge of the seal. If the separated area is too small to be held between thumb and forefinger, a number two stylus shall be inserted into the delaminated area and a gentle lifting force applied against the outer ply. If separation of the outer ply can be made to extend to less than 1/16 inch from the prodcut edge of the seal with no discernible resistance to the gentle lifting, the bag shall be rejected."

For more such fun, search the document database yourself (select a category under FSC/Area and pick a document from the result list that isn't categorized as 'Canceled').

Posted by cronopio at 12:57 AM, March 23, 2003