Neutropenia is when neutrophils in our blood become low. When this occurs, our body are more vulnerable to get infection. Therefore, it is important to avoid food which are more likely to cause infection. The risks of infection also depends on how foods are prepared.
A neutropenic diet is for people with low level of immune system in the body. This diet helps protect them from bacteria and other harmful organisms found in some food and drinks. When our body have low immune system, the body will have problem to protect it from bacteria found in food and drinks. This diet usually will be recommended by the doctor before and after certain types of chemotherapy and other cancer treatments. Before the patients start this diet, they will undergoes a blood test which is known as absolute neutrophil count (ANC) which can help to determine the body's ability to fight against the infection. If the ANC is less than 500 cells/mm³, the patients will start to follow neutopenic diet. This diet should be followed until the doctor tells the patient to resume his or her regular diet. Besides that, people who have had an organ transplant or who are being treated for HIV/AIDS also may need to follow this diet.
There are few of food that the patients who follow the neutropenic diet to avoid which are avoid all fresh fruits and vegetables, avoid all raw or rare-cooked meat, fish and eggs and avoid yogurt and yogurt products. If they want to eat fruits and vegetables, they can take cooked vegetables and canned fruits. They also are advised to avoid beverages prepared with freshly squeezed juices or uncooked vegetable juices. Besides, to take meat, it must be cooked to the “well-done” stage. The eggs also need to be cooked thoroughly. The dairy products that they want to consume must undergoes pasteurization process. After opening, it must be consumed at one meal and never save for later. If they want to eat thick-skinned fruits such as oranges, bananas and melons, these fruits can be eaten if they are washed thoroughly by using weak alcohol solution before peeling the fruit.
Besides that, the people who follows this diet, must handling food in the safe ways. They have to wash their hands before handling food, wash cutting boards and cutting utensils thoroughly before being used. After preparation of food, it must be eaten as soon as possible and avoid to consume that is left at room temperature for more than one hour. The people should also not to use products that are near or past the expiration date. For the leftover food, it must be sealed and wrapped well. On the packaging of the leftover food must be labeled with the date and time of preparation so that it can remind the patients before consuming the leftover food. The leftover food must be stored in refrigerator or freezer. The patients that follow neutropenic diet also need to avoid eating the food stored in refrigerator for more than 24 hours.
Okey, these pictures have nothing to do with neutropenic diet.. i just add them! happy seeing :)