If a resident has an allergy, intolerance or dislike, these details MUST be documented very clearly and not be ambiguous in any way.
It is essential any food allergy is taken very seriously. It must be very clearly documented and able to be identified by all staff (lifestyle, volunteers, care and food service) in an aged care home. A food allergy reaction can occur within seconds from minute quantities and is often life threatening The typical food allergies are egg, nuts, fish and shellfish. We know the number of people with food allergies is on the increase. We need to be vigilant about cross contamination and ensure that residents with food allergies receive the correct meal and are safe at all times.
If a resident has an intolerance, it is usually not life threatening but can leave the resident feeling uncomfortable from a range of symptoms. The resident may even be able to tolerate small quantities before they have any symptoms.
If a resident dislikes a certain food, these food preferences also need to be adhered to at all times. It is their choice and right to request an alternate meal.
When preparing a suitable meal, the meal component should not be just taken off and not replaced. For example, if a resident is lactose intolerant, a lactose free custard should replace the regular custard. If a resident has an egg allergy, then baked beans should be offered instead of eggs for breakfast. And if a resident dilsikes beef, then fish or chicken can be offered.
All those who provide foods to residents must be sure that allergies, intolerances and dislikes are well documented and communicated at every stage of the food service.
About the Author Nutrition Professionals Australia is a team of Accredited Practising Dietitians who consult to aged care homes across Australia. They have more than 40 years of combined experience in a range of roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.roles, as Advanced Accredited Practising Dietitians, Food Services Coordinator, Residential Site Manager, Author of Nutrition Manuals and Consultant Dietitian.
|Tags: Allergy Coeliac Disease Food Intolerance Gluten Dietitian Aged Care Diabetes Special diets Food Service Nutrition|