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Date: 12 June 2021

Time: 11:54

Food safety

Patients with a CD4 count below 200 cells/mm³ have suppressed immune function and are at higher risk of infections and illnesses. Certain foods and tap water may carry bacteria that in people with normal immune function would cause no harm. Patients with immune suppression however should avoid them to prevent the development of food-borne opportunistic infections and food poisoning.

If your CD4 count is less than 200 cells/mm³, our dietitian is able to give practical advice on food safety.

This advice may include:

  • avoiding raw or undercooked eggs or meat
  • drinking boiled then cooled water
  • general food hygiene advice, such as:
    •  washing hands
    • preparing and cooking food in a clean environment
    • using different chopping boards for raw and cooked food
    • avoiding non-pasteurised dairy products and soft cheeses, such as brie and blue cheese

The length of time an individual would have to follow this advice varies and depends on the time it takes for your CD4 count to rise above 200 cells/mm³. It’s important for you to see our dietitians regularly during this period.

More detailed information is available from our dietitians.

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