Patients with allergies spoilt for food choice at FSH

Two women in the hospital kitchen, one holding a tray.
July 2, 2020

Fiona Stanley Hospital (FSH) is leading the charge when it comes to providing allergy-safe meals for patients.

Forming part of the patient admission process, more than 150 food allergies have been mapped and entered into an electronic system to ensure the allergen is filtered from the meal and snack options in the automated menu service available at the bedside. 

“We are fortunate enough to have electronic systems complementing our allergy management processes to ensure patients with food allergies both order and receive safe meals,” FSH Senior Dietitian for Food Service Bianca Guthrie said.

“As we deliver more than 2,000 a la carte meals a day, getting the right meal to the right patient every time is our priority, and we want patients with food allergies to have options and variety during their hospital stay.

“Work behind the scenes is ongoing to ensure we know all ingredients in our food in addition to strict cleaning processes in the kitchen to eliminate cross contamination and multiple checks at delivery to ensure we are providing a safe meal,” she said.

There are currently more than four million Australians living with allergies and anaphylaxis and this number is only expected to rise.

In a bid to tackle this significant public health issue the Federal Government held a Parliamentary inquiry and has released the “Walking the allergy tightrope” report, which highlights the need for a national, standardised approach to allergies and anaphylaxis.

FSH Immunology Consultant, Dr Michael O’Sullivan, welcomed the report and agreed a collective response was needed for allergy management.

“We are always trying to improve the ways we care for our patients and if we can highlight areas where we can do better to ensure people living with allergic disease across the country have a better quality of life – then we’re definitely heading in the right direction,” he said.

“One of those areas where we are already leading the charge is our automated food delivery service with one of the report recommendations including a national approach to ensure safe and appropriate meals are made available to patients with allergies in all hospitals.”

For more information, you can read “Walking the allergy tightrope” (external site) report.

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