How we look after the needs of our patients with food allergy or intolerance

St Vincent’s accredited dietitians and dietitian assistants work closely with our Food Services Department to provide a comprehensive range of nutrition services for people with acute care requirements, chronic disease and complex needs, as well as for people who have food allergy and intolerance.

Food allergy and intolerance is on the rise. Each week we receive numerous requests to cater for patient food allergies and intolerances.

Each patient receives a nursing risk assessment form which gives patients the opportunity to let the hospital know if they require a special diet.

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St Vincent’s Food Services Manager Stephen Tippett and Dietitian Elizabeth Doyle

We have specific diet codes set up to cater for some common food intolerances, such as a gluten free diet code. However, there are many and varied forms of food allergies and intolerances, including very individual and unusual combinations.

Our dietitians and dietitian assistants have access to all hospital recipes and are able look them up on our computerised menu management system to confirm ingredients. The patients may also be given access to suitable short order items that can assist in meeting their needs.

The detitians may also become involved in the meal planning and preparation process to ensure a nutritionally adequate meal is always provided to patients.

When a patient is identified as having food allergy or intolerance, a note is written by the dietitians and is printed for display on the patient’s meal tray ticket.  The dietitian also stamps the patient’s meal tray ticket with a red allergy stamp which alerts the kitchen staff to the allergy or intolerance.

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