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Food Safety

Foodborne illness or “food poisoning” occurs when disease-causing germs or toxins contaminate food. Although some people advocate following a special “neutropenic diet,” there is no evidence to support the neutropenic diet or most food restrictions in patients with neutropenia. To keep you and your family safe from food poisoning, follow the FDA Safe Food Handling guidelines:

  • Wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds before and after handling food and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, and handling pets.

  • Wash your cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and counter tops with hot soapy water after preparing each food item.

  • Consider using paper towels to clean up kitchen surfaces. If you use cloth towels, launder often in the hot cycle.

  • Rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running tap water, including those with skins and rinds that are not eaten. Scrub firm produce with a clean produce brush.

  • Processed foods should be cooked per package directions to eliminate bacteria.

  • Meat and eggs need to be cooked to safe minimum internal temperature to eliminate bacteria.

  • Dairy products, juices and honey should be pasteurized. Pasteurization is the process of heating a food or liquid to kill bacteria.

  • Utensils, straws, and cups should not be used by more than one person. Sharing will increase the likelihood of bacteria or viruses being transferred.

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