Being in hospital is stressful enough without worrying about your food.

Do not assume that hospitals are any better at catering for severe food allergies than any other food provider.

  1. Have several printed copies of all medication, illnesses, and allergies, to give to doctors.
  2. Make sure you have a coloured wristband, normally red, to warn other staff you have allergies.
  3. Inform staff immediately about your allergies, every time you have something to eat or drink.
  4. Ask for the 14-allergen free menu or ask to see the menu book for allergens.
  5. Be prepared to bring food in from home, in case you are worried, back up food.
  6. Do not let staff lock your adrenaline auto-injectors away with your other medication, they should be always with you.
  7. Check all drinks e.g., milks and all food when given to you, every time.
  8. Do not think that hospital food is safer than any other catering establishment, e.g., cross contamination.
  9. Do not assume that the staff who orders, and serves your food is allergy trained.
  10. If a child is being admitted to hospital, discuss a care plan with the staff. Be aware of other children on the ward, and cross contamination.
  11. If had operation, sedatives, or strong pain relief, be aware that your thought process could be altered.
  12. Not all staff will not be able to answer questions immediately.
  13. Young child, educate them with age-appropriate level knowledge.
  14. If your chid is in a shared room, tell other parents/carers in the room that your child is not allowed other food.
  15. Teenagers do not feel embarrassed or feel awkward about questioning staff about ingredients in the food you are being served.
  16. Ask about anaesthesia and new medications.

Food can vary from hospital to hospital.

NHS St Richards meal – Western Hospitals

  • Breakfast extremely limited – choice of juice or fruit
  • Main menu – choice of 8 items, as this covers your lunch and dinner after 4 days you start to repeat the foods.
  • Pudding – 4 choices as this covers your lunch and dinner after 2 days you start to repeat the foods.

Sign the Hospital Food Petition

Establishing food standards for NHS hospitals GOV UK

Public Sector Catering

Anaesthesia NICE

These lists are guidance only, and not fully extensive, people are advised that it is the responsibility of the individual when using this information.

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