An immunocompromised (im-YOU-noh-KOM-pruh-mized) diet is also called a low bacterial diet. This diet is used to help decrease the amount of bacteria a person who has a weakened immune system eats.
When you have a weakened immune system, you are still able to eat most foods. To reduce your risk of getting sick you should follow the general food safety guidelines listed in this handout.
General Food Safety Guidelines The list below highlights food safety guidelines to follow. For a full list of guidelines, ask for the patient education handout, Food Safety Guide. Wash your hands and surfaces often when handling food.
• Wash your hands using warm water and soap. Rub your hands together with good friction for at least 20 seconds.
• Use clean dishcloths every day. Bacteria can grow easily in dirty, wet dishcloths.
• Do not using sponges to clean dishes and utensils. Sponges can hold germs that contaminate food and dishes. Do not cross contaminate.
Use separate cutting boards, plates and utensils for raw and cooked foods.
Dr. Stegall’s Comments: Observing proper guidelines to reduce the risk of bacterial contamination is important for all of us, but especially so when dealing with a weakened immune system as we often are with cancer. While I do not agree with all of the recommendations in the article (e.g., “breads and grains are okay to eat”), I do think their general guidelines for food safety and handling are good.