Skip to content
left end
left end
right end

Bringing food into hospital

The Trust has a legal obligation to comply with the requirements of the Food Safety Act 1990 and associated legislation relating to the composition, labelling, safety, handling, control and hygiene of food.

The patients' meals we serve every day are carefully prepared and designed to offer patients a healthy balanced diet of set selected menus with a range of hot and cold food and drinks. Patients are encouraged to select a healthy and safe food choice with appropriate advice given where required by dieticians.

We therefore have an obligation to ensure that any foods brought into the hospitals are suitable and do not include any illicit or unauthorised items.  This helps us to prevent or reduce the risk of infection, food poisoning and food borne illnesses and unwanted interaction with prescribed medication.

Any food brought in should be suitable for the dietary needs of the patient. Please help us to help patients by only bringing in food that contributes to a healthy balanced diet. Any advice regarding the suitability of foods can be obtained from the Nurse in Charge or dietician.

  • On arrival at the ward all food gifts should be declared. An appropriately trained nurse will check to see if the food is suitable for the patient and check containers and labelling.
  • All packaging must be intact with the use by or best before date not exceeded. Only food that has been sealed by the manufacturer using heat seals, tamperproof lids and bottle tops will be allowed. Home produced items and goods sealed only with a sticker will not be allowed.

Guidelines to reduce the risk associated with food brought into the hospitals are identified below:

Permitted foods
These foods CAN be brought in

Prohibited foods
These foods CANNOT be brought in as they may support the growth of pathogenic bacteria
Wrapped fresh fruit and fruit products
Dried fruit tubs of pre-packed fruit
Raw meat or fish, cooked meat and poultry, fresh meat products e.g. gravy, soups and stock
Pre-packed muffins, tea cakes, pancakes, scones or similar  Fresh or artificial cream products e.g. custards, yoghurts, mousse, cakes and ice cream
Pre-wrapped nuts and seeds (provided the patient does not have any related allergies) Pre-wrapped sandwiches (all fillings)
Pre-wrapped biscuits, crackers and cakes  (not fresh or artificial cream) Items with added alcohol e.g. chocolate liqueurs, stollen and similar festive foods
Pre-wrapped chocolate or sweets Pick 'n' mix
Packets of crisps (individual packets), popcorn, pretzels  Full boxes of crisps or multi-packs
Bottled drinks (plastic only) e.g. squashes or carbonates
Small quantities of fruit juice or smoothies 
Large cartons of fruit juice, grapefruit juice (which can interact with some prescribed medication), milkshakes
Preserves e.g. jam, marmalade, honey, marmite, bovril (in small plastic jars) Any other food item which requires refridgeration or heating e.g. pies, pasties, sausage rolls, cheese, eggs, scotch eggs
Take-away meals including pizzas, beefburgers and kebabs