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Food safety

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As an immunosuppressed person, you will have to be mindful about your food preparation. Wash your hands frequently when working with food. You doctor may advise you to avoid raw fruits and vegetables for several months after your transplant because of the risk of catching an infection. Once you are cleared to eat them again, you will need to make sure they are washed properly. If you are going to a gathering where there is food, do not eat out of a bowl of food in which people have reached their hands, such as chips. Buffets contain an inordinate number of germs, and your doctor may advise you to avoid them altogether.

Practice common-sense food safety in general, such as avoiding cross-contamination between raw meats and other foods. Because of the risk of infection, you should not eat raw or undercooked meats such as sushi after your transplant. If you eat deli meat, you should heat it in the microwave for a few seconds to kill listeria, which can live on lunch meats in the refrigerator.

Make sure your water supply is safe, and if you travel to a location where water safety is questionable, drink bottled water.

There are some foods that you will have to avoid completely, including grapefruit and grapefruit juice, because they may interfere with your medication. Your transplant team will give you comprehensive guidelines about what foods to avoid and what foods to enjoy.

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