Dates and Neutropenic Diets


Diet Description

A neutropenic diet limits foods that may contain harmful bacteria or microbes. This helps reduce the risk for foodborne illness. It can also be referred to as a low-microbial diet.

Diet Purpose

This diet is used by those with weaker immune systems. This includes people with cancer or people receiving transplants. It is also often followed by those with neutropenia. Neutropenia is a condition where one is not able to make enough white blood cells to properly fight off infections.

Dates in a Neutropenic Diet

Depending on the state of your immune system, your healthcare provider may suggest you only eat boiled or canned fruits. In this case, we would recommend avoiding dates. In case they do allow fresh and dried fruits, make sure to rinse the dates thoroughly and peel off the outer layer before eating.

What to Eat

Food safety is extremely important on a neutropenic diet. Foods should be cooked through proper temperatures and stored correctly. Breads and grains are all on a neutropenic diet. They may also consume pasteurized dairy, canned produce, and well-cooked proteins.

What to Avoid

Undercooked, raw, or unpasteurized foods of any kind are not permitted. Deli meats are also not permitted unless reheated to the proper temperature. Any leftovers older than 48 hours should be avoided.

Conclusion

The neutropenic diet is an important medical diet. It is especially made for those with weakened immune systems. Eating appropriately cooked foods and following food safety guidelines is of utmost importance. By following the diet, you will surely stay healthy!

Written by:

Leah Goebel, RDN

Registered Dietitian

Reviewed by:
Registered Dietitian
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PubMed Central

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