TIPS TO BRING FOOD FROM HOME
Hygenic food for In-patients
Nutritious food is good for health. NU canteen caters to only vegetarian food. The patients’ meals we serve every day are carefully prepared and designed to offer patients a healthy balanced diet.
We therefore have an obligation to ensure that any food brought into the hospital is suitable and does not include any illicit or unauthorized items. This helps us to prevent or reduce the risk of infection, food poisoning and food borne illnesses and unwanted interaction with prescribed medication.
Tips while bringing food for in-patients in the hospital
Bringing food for in-patients in the hospital is not encouraged. If you do bring food, follow these instructions to ensure it is safe and suitable.
- Check first with the dietician, nurse-in charge or the doctor before getting it.
- All outside food must be consistent with the diet your dietician/doctor has prescribed.
The food and drink that a patient normally consumes at home may not be safe for them while they are in the hospital.
If you bring food into the hospital, it is important to prepare, store and transport it safely to ensure it is free from harmful bacteria.
- Always wash your hands before handling food
- All vegetables should be washed thoroughly before cooking
- Keep kitchen utensils such as knives, utensils and chopping boards clean
- Do not prepare food too far in advance
- Do not prepare food for in-patient if you are unwell
- Keep raw food such as vegetables, raw meat and its products and cooked food separate to avoid cross contamination
- Cook food thoroughly; ensure meat and poultry is cooked until there is no pink in the centre
Serve -- food hot
- Food must be cooked to 70°C or more to kill harmful bacteria and then eaten within four hours. Cooked food must be kept steaming hot during transport in a thermus or insulated container.
- The food can be reheated in hospital. When reheating food make sure it is completely heated to steaming hot. Do not reheat food more than once. Ask the nurse about reheating food at hospital.
- All cereal, pulses preparation like rice, sambar, rasam, chapathi, ragi ball, jowar roti, cooked vegetables
- Hygienically home prepared vegetable/fruit salads
- Dried or whole washed fresh fruits
- Beverages such as tea/coffee/milk/ flavoured milk
- Cooking methods advised are boiling, steaming and pressure cooking
- Oily gravies – especially prepared from restaurants
- Bakery food of any kind or deep fried food
- Junk food like chips, pickles, pappads. Savouries which are salted and spicy
- Raw meat, sea foods, eggs
- Unpasteurized milk
- If diabetic avoid sugar, jaggery, honey, sweet, glucose, jam, jellies, chocolate cakes etc
- Take away meals such as pizzas, burgers, ice-cream, chocolate etc
- Salads, fruit salads and sandwiches purchased from a shop
- Beverages are considered perishable and should be brought in single serving container. Any opened can or bottle should be thrown away after four hours outside the refrigerator (exception: bottled water)
- Bring enough food that can be eaten at one time
- Do not store perishable food in the room
- Restaurant delivery is not permitted
- Dry food such as biscuits, cookies, cereal, bread, etc may be stored in the patient’s drawer, cupboard or in food storage boxes brought in by the caregiver. Food must not be stored on the windowsill or other areas that would prevent thorough cleaning of the hospital room. We suggest storing dry food (e.g. biscuits etc) in re-sealable bags to maintain freshness.
Storing food in hospital
It is best if the patient can eat the food straight away. If you need to store food for a short time, please ask your nurse, for the availability of refrigerator. If food can be stored in the fridge, it must be placed in an air tight container and marked with the patient barcode label, bed number and date. Food items must not be kept for more than 24 hours.