Neutropenic Diet

So when your neutriphils aren’t sufficient to ward off series infections, even foods present hazards and risks for infection. Thus, I need a low bacterial diet to limit contact with foods that may contain harmful organisms. This is the list the hospital has conveniently provided:

Category Allowed Avoid
  • Pasteurized milk & daily products.
  • Yogurt made with pasteurized milk
  • Pasteurized non-dairy milk & cream products
  • Packaged ice cream, frozen yogurt, sherbets & frozen desserts without nuts & raisins
  • Cottage cheese
  • Ricotta cheese
  • Prepackaged hard cheese: mile & medium cheddar, mozzarella, parmesan, Swiss
  • Individually packaged, pre-sliced, pasteurized cheese
  • Unpasteurized milk & dairy products
  • Ice cream & frozen yogurt dispensed from soft-serve machines
  • Soft cheeses & cheeses with mold: sharp cheddar, brief, camembert, feta, gorgonzola, goat cheese, Roqueforts, stilton & blue cheese (unless well cooked)
  • Any cheese containing vegetables, herbs or chili peppers (unless well cooked)
  • Sliced delicatessen cheese
    Meat, pork, lamb, poultry, fish & eggs
  • Well cooked & canned meat, beef, pork, lamb, poultry & fish
  • Homemade seafood & meat salads
  • Cooked processed, smoked meats: bacon, hotdogs, sausage
  • Cooked tofu (cut into 1″ cubes boiled – minimum of 5 minutes)
  • Cooked, commercially packaged luncheon meats
  • Eggs – well cooked, pasteurized egg substitutes
  • Raw & undercooked meat, beef, pork, lamb, poultry & fish
  • Meats & poultry on the bone (e.g. chicken drumstick, pork chop)
  • Commercial seafood & meat salads
  • Cold, smoken fish: salmon, lox
  • Pickeld fish
  • Uncooked sandwich meats
  • Uncooked & undercooked eggs
  • All miso products
    Entrees & soups
  • Homemade meals & soups if eaten or frozen within 1 hours of preparation
  • Prepackaged frozen meals & pizza
  • Canned entrees
  • Cold, uncooked vegetable or fruit soups
  • Leftovers
  • Cooked fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables
  • Raw vegetables
  • Salads from delicatessens or supermarkets
    Fruits & nuts
  • Thick skinned, peelable fruits without visible mold: oranges, grapefruits, tangerines, melons & bananas
  • Cooked, frozen & canned fruits & pasteurized fruit juices
  • Dried fruits added just before cooking
  • Commercial, shelf-stable peanut butter
  • Canned & vacuum packed roasted nuts
  • Any fruits not listed as allowed
  • Freshly squeezed & unpasteurized fruit juices
  • Cider
  • Uncooked dried fruits
  • Fresh, roasted nuts & peanut butter
    Potatoes, rice & noodles
  • All cooked potatoes, rice & noodles
  • Homemade potato & macaroni salads
  • Individual packaged snack foods
  • Commercial potato & macaroni salads
  • Salads
  • Snack foods with added flavoring/herbs: nacho cheese, sour cream/herb
    Breads & cereals
  • Packaged & homemade breads, muffins, rolls & pastries
  • Plain packaged hot & cold cereals
  • Hot cereal with dreid fruit or nuts only if microwaved on high >1 minute or cooked on stove with fruits/nuts added at the same time as the cereal
  • Bakery cakes & pastries that need refrigeration e.g., cream & custard filled products
  • Loose breads, muffins, bagles, rolls, pastries from store bins or displays
  • Commercial, shelf stable salad dressings & mayonnaise
  • Cooked, canned gravies & sauces
    Refrigerated, not shelf stable salad dressings containing herbs & spices

  • Salad dressings containing aged cheese (blue cheese) or raw eggs
  • Salad dressings made from mixes containing herbs/spices
  • Tap water, except well water (unless boiled 20 minutes)
  • Water bottled in the U.S.
  • Alcoholic beverages only if permitted by your doctor
  • Pasteurized fruit juices
  • Well water (unboiled)
  • Bottled water (outside US)
  • Cider
  • Home brewed beer
  • Non-pasteurized fruit juices
  • Herbs & spices (including pepper) added during cooking
  • Relishes, salsa & pickles (except “not allowed”)
  • Unpasteurized, raw honey
  • Relishes, salsa & pickes that require refrigeration prior to purchase
  • All miso products
  • Herbal & “health food store” supplements
  • Brewers yeast
  • Fresh raw or dried spices used after cooking

List in formation

6 Responses

  1. very imformative. I will pass it on to my friend Barbara who has just been diagnosed with Leukemia. I am a food writer in Northern California, and write about healthy foods. Jude Teal

  2. Agree very informative although husband will be very upset about the peanut butter. He’s 55, with CLL and currently in hospital due to (chemo induced?) neutropenia. Loved peanut butter & peanuts all his life. Question – why are these items risky?

  3. I have come across several websites that says that a person who consumes processed meat (ie, sausage, bacon, ham etc) are more likely to develop leukemia than those that does not. SHoldnt a treated leukemia patient avoid such food as well ?

    • Cooked, processed, package meats that have loads of chemical preservatives in them do not appear to be problematic. Loose, fresh sausage, bacon, ham, etc . should be avoilded

  4. Agree very informative although husband will be very upset about the peanut butter. He’s 55, with CLL and currently in hospital due to (chemo induced?) neutropenia. Loved peanut butter & peanuts all his life. Question – why are these items risky?

    • Check w/doctor and see if your husband can have individual peanut butter servings (commercial) one use and done. Fresh peanuts are an easy chance for bacteria to get into the system. Neutropenia does not last forever and if being cautious right now means no peanuts, please just tell your husband it is not forever. Sending you and your husband all positive wishes. In strength and love.

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