• Pasteurization and other food restrictions

    Asked by ddkk3 on Thursday, April 11, 2013

    Pasteurization and other food restrictions

    I was having lunch at Whole Foods the other day and I went to buy a lemonade until I noticed this sticker on the back of it. It said that it wasn't pasteurized and therefore it could pose a risk to children, the elderly, and those with compromised immune systems. I'm in the middle of my chemo so obviously I (and many of us) fall into that last category. I did not buy it of course but it made me think about any foods and drinks I should stay away from.

    Is there anything you avoid eating while on chemo? My doctors only talked about making sure all my food was well done (like steaks and eggs). What else should I be aware of?

    4 Answers from the Community

    4 answers
    • carm's Avatar

      This should help you with all your concerns, Carm RN.


      over 3 years ago
    • gwendolyn's Avatar

      Maybe it goes without saying but I was forbidden from eating sushi until my immunity was pretty restored (about a month after my last chemo.)

      over 3 years ago
    • CAS1's Avatar

      ACS has a booklet on this..Stay away from store bought fresh salads and make sure to wash extra carefully any fresh produce at home including fruit "Before" you slice it.

      Everthing cooked when you are out..and everything washed and washed again when you are home and then cooked.

      And lots of hand sanitizer,

      over 3 years ago
    • AlizaMLS's Avatar

      Dear ddkk3,

      Hi, it's Aliza, a BC patient and the site's unofficial Medical Librarian. I believe we've spoken before so I'll skip my lengthier introduction, and cut to the chase...;)

      I'm immunocompromised as well, not from chemo (I didn't need it), but because I'm a Lupus patient as well and one of the drugs I take for Lupus acts as a mild chemotherapy agent and reduces my white count.

      That was very commendable of the folks at Whole Foods to post that sign. Other foods immunocompromised folks like us should avoid include unpasteurized apple cider (stick to juice [ you can always put some spices in it and heat it a bit yourself if you wish] or sometimes they make pasteurized cider). This includes apple cider donuts as delicious as they are. Buy an apple pie instead. It's baked at 400 d F for about an hour-it's safe. The cider and cider donuts might not be.

      Other things to avoid include sushi, lox, and other uncooked fish (I'm honestly uncertain of whether cured fish is ok, but better safe than sorry), steak tartare (essentially raw chop meat, but sounds a lot better in French)...;),

      Any dessert recipe (at any restaurant) that includes uncooked eggs (some recipes for chocolate mousse call or called for this [I believe that the Health Departments changed this in more recent years as they found the general public can get salmonella from uncooked egg yolks, I make Kahlua chocolate truffles. The truffes themselves are made from a chocolate ganache that has butter, sugar, Kahlua and you guessed it-egg yoks. However, after the egg yolks are folded in, the mixture is put back over a double boiler for about 3 minutes which is enough to kill the bacteria possibly lurking in the egg yolks. If you don't know the kitchen well, you can't be sure of the chef's practices and I'd pick something else for dessert. You can always find a different recipe and make chocolate mousse at home.

      Obviously, don't share anyone else's food or beverages from their plates or glasses after they've used them. Illnesses are most contagious when someone is at the stage when they are incubating them, i.e., before symptoms begin to show (i.e., you never know when your partner, date, friend) is going to come down with a sore throat, or the flu so if you want a taste of something they have, have them cut you a piece before they've eaten from whatever it is.

      Those are my rules for trying to stay in decent health despite all of these problems. I hope that I've answered your question, but if you have further questions or want a more in-depth analysis, if there's a dietician at your treating hospital, they should be very familiar with what I just told you and may know even more.

      I hope I've helped. If you need to know about anything else, please feel free to messae me on site or email offsite.

      Wishing you well!

      Warm wishes,

      Ceasar salad (again, the dressing recipe calls for uncooked egg yolks [I'd imagine, but can't be certain that the Health codes would have required a certain minimal level of cooking the eggs in more recent years, but why take a chance-have oil and vinegar or vinaigrette or lemon and oil instead). Of course, make sure to order your meats at least medium. I disagree (personally with your doctor) about well done, because having carbon on your meat is a carcinogen, but I'm not a medical authority and that's a good question to take up with him.

      over 3 years ago

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