A Review of UK Food Safety Information Provision for Chemotherapy Patients
Evans, Ellen W.
International Association for Food Protection,
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Introduction: Chemotherapy patients have an increased risk of foodborne illnesses as a result of immunosuppression, and are reported to have a five-times greater risk of listeriosis. To enable chemotherapy patients/carers to minimise risk of illness by implementation of risk-reducing behaviours is essential. Provision of food safety information prior to and during treatment is needed to raise awareness of the potential risks relating to foodborne illness by informing patients/carers of control measures and responsibilities of reducing critical risk factors. Purpose: The aim of this study was to review food-related information available to chemotherapy patients/carers in the UK and evaluate the inclusion of risk-reducing food-safety behaviours. Methods: Food-related information available to chemotherapy patients/carers in the UK were collected from health care providers including UK NHS trusts. Sources were reviewed and analysed using a content analysis approach. Findings were summarized according to key topics critical to food safety and listeriosis, (e.g. refrigeration practices, cross-contamination, consumption of at-risk food products). Results: Overall, food-related information for cancer patients was obtained from 42 of 141 NHS chemotherapy providers and three UK cancer charities. Although 64% explained why patients are at an increased risk of developing infection during treatment, many failed to highlight the importance of food safety to prevent infection. Recommendations to ensure thorough cooking were most frequently included, although 42% recommended the avoidance of raw meat, poultry and fish, only 9% recommended the use of a thermometer to achieve a core temperature of 75°C. Practices relating to avoiding listeriosis were particularly lacking. Significance: Although information is available, considerable gaps exist and information provided varies greatly between sources. There is a need to establish the potential impact of such food-related information sources on cancer patient/carer food safety knowledge, attitudes towards reducing the risks of foodborne disease during chemotherapy treatment and implementation of risk-reducing food safety practices in the home during chemotherapy. Such data will inform the development of food safety education interventions targeting patients/carers.
International Association for Food Protection, European Symposium on Food Safety, Athens, Greece.;
Evans, E. W. and E. C. Redmond (2016) 'A Review of UK Food Safety Information Provision for Chemotherapy Patients', International Association for Food Protection, European Symposium on Food Safety. Athens, Greece, 11th – 13th May 2016
Poster presented at the International Association for Food Protection, European Symposium on Food Safety, Athens, Greece. 11th – 13th May 2016
Cardiff Metropolitan University (Grant ID: Cardiff Metropolian (Internal))
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