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Eating safely during your stem cell transplant: snack list

Patient information A-Z

People receiving a stem cell transplant are at greater risk of developing an infection, so it is important to avoid foods that increase this risk. You can reduce the risk of infection from food by following the advice in this leaflet.

Most food supplied by the hospital should be safe to eat, but if you do have any difficulty in choosing appropriate snacks from the list provided, please tell your nurse who will liaise with the ward dietitian and ward housekeeper.

If visitors wish to bring in food, it is best to ask them to only bring items from the following list. It is best to eat snacks as soon as possible once they are opened. If you would like food not listed below, please check with the dietitian who can advise you how to do this safely.

This leaflet is to be used alongside the diet sheet - Food safety when you are profoundly neutropenic: during your stem cell transplant (stage / grade 2)

Suitable drinks

  • Cans or bottles of fizzy drinks
  • Freshly run tap water (which can be drunk cool or boiled) or carbonated water
  • Individual cartons of fruit juice or ready-made bottles of squash
  • Tea, coffee
  • Sachets of hot chocolate, Horlicks
  • Individual cartons / pasteurised commercial smoothies
  • Nutritional supplements in cartons / bottles e.g. Fortisip, Polycal

Drinks to avoid

  • Bottled still mineral or spring water
  • Water from coolers, domestic filters and water fountains
  • Probiotic yoghurts / drinks eg Yakult or Actimel

Suitable snack foods

  • Crisps, pretzels or Snack-a-Jacks in small packets
  • Small wrapped chocolates / sweets
  • Wrapped plain cakes or in a tin or sealed bag
  • Fresh fruit (should be well washed and peeled)
  • Canned fruit
  • Biscuits in sealed packets
  • Flapjacks in sealed packets
  • Popcorn in sealed packets
  • Ice cream in individual portions, wrapped, small pots
  • Roasted nuts in cans or sealed packets
  • Cooked dried fruit in cakes or flapjacks or cereal bars
  • Yoghurts containing live cultures

Snacks to avoid

  • Large packets of crisps
  • Unwrapped chocolate / sweets
  • Desserts and cakes containing cream
  • Unwashed, damaged or over-ripe fruit
  • Loose biscuits and cakes
  • Ice cream from mobile vans / soft serve machines
  • Dried fruit such as packets of raisins
  • Raw or unshelled nuts
  • Probiotic or bio yoghurts

Your dietitian is . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

If you require any further information or wish to comment on this leaflet, please contact:

Dept Nutrition and Dietetics,
Box 119,
Addenbrooke’s Hospital,
Cambridge University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust,
Hills Road,

Telephone 01223 216655

The CUH website

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Cambridge University Hospitals
NHS Foundation Trust
Hills Road, Cambridge

Telephone +44 (0)1223 245151