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Your best tips for raw food safety post transplant.

Transplants | Last Active: Dec 8, 2021 | Replies (92)

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Hi @rosemarya, One of my biggest concerns post-transplant is eating restaurant meals safely. Can you please tell me more about what kind of foods you have ordered at restaurants, what you tell the server when you are ordering, what you say when you need to send the food back to the kitchen, do you eat the delicious bread served in the bread basket, hummus at the Greek restaurant, guacamole at the Mexican restaurant.... or are they no-no territory? Of course during this covid pandemic I am going no where, but I am looking forward to one day going to a restaurant with friends and I want to have a plan! 🙂 Thank you!!

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Replies to "Hi @rosemarya, One of my biggest concerns post-transplant is eating restaurant meals safely. Can you please..."

@hello1234 Enjoy Yourself! You can by listening to the fundamental food safety rule that your transplant team has share with you. I want to hear about your first dine out meal when it happens!
You will probably want to start simple and build confidence from there. Respect and a smile go a long way when speaking to a server. Mistakes happen in food preparation, especially when they are busy. I have never had a problem with a request, as mine are minimal. Most of my inquiries are about ingredients. As I said in a previous post, It is hard to get eggs well done, so the resolution is easiest to cook them at home and order something different if dining out!

I was transplanted a liver and kidney in 2009, so I have had to try to remember what early transplant eating was like for me.

Here is some of my experience:
Well, to begin, I had no taste, was on a kidney restricted diet, was swollen from ascites and edema. no appetite, and in the later stages controlled nausea. I had to talk myself into eating or I would not be strong enough for surgery.
On the morning after my transplant surgery, I was able to select a light breakfast - wheat toast, butter and jam, orange juice and a cup of coffee I thought I was in heaven! I could taste it! I didn't gag! I piled on the extra jam and I had orange juice which had not been allowed since my kidney failure. To top it off, my husband brought me a cup from the coffee shop! To this day, I have to say that it was the absolutely best breakfast I have ever eaten!

We lived at Gift of Life transplant House in Rochstser MN for 13 weeks, (2 weeks in ICU; 9 weeks as out-patient with self prepared meals; 3 weeks post transplant) So I got to witness and learn what others were eating during my temporary residence there.
My first meal 'out' was to the Hubbell in Mantorville MN, down the road from Rochester. It was our celebration at having my immediate post transplant restrictions eliminated. In preparation, I studied the menu, and knew what I wanted before I arrived. The place was clean and I immediately felt relaxed. It was obvious by my slow movements, that I was recovering from something, so I told the hostess that I had a recent transplant and had a few questions. The hostess was gracious and she answered my questions. I was able to request a substitution for something that I was not sure about. Food was delicious, and I splurged on a dessert! I know that this was an ideal situation, but it gave me confidence.

My guide is always: cleanliness via eyes and nose, and health dept certificate usually displayed at entry. Menu options is equally important.

Now that I am experienced, and with the introduction of COVID19, I add the CDC/local guidelines plus common sense.

Yes, I do eat the bread, guacamole, hummus at 'some' restaurants. My friends know that I need to take the first serving, and there is no dipping unless I get a separate dish for the dip. I do eat the homemade things. Fresh is always the best! I was more hesitant in the beginning, but as i became familiar with particular restaurants, I have developed a confidence. foods. And really, our restricted foods is a minimal amount.

Whenever I am upset with watching my husband or others eat anything and everything, I remember my delicious morning after surgery breakfast and celebrate how far i have come!

Do you and your friends have a favorite restaurant? What do you anticipate to be your most challenging dining out decision?