Your best tips for raw food safety post transplant.

Posted by jolinda @jolinda, Aug 3, 2019

Does anyone have good guidelines for eating raw food post transplant. I am specifically interested if anyone remembers the things you were taught about raw fruits and veggies. As an example I was told it is ok to eat prewashed lettuce if you rewash it or that fruit with bumpy skin, like cantaloupe can't be washed well enough to avoid contaminating the fruit when cutting through it.

@jolinda

@genocurt It is so hard to sort out all of the information, I wish there was a rule book. 🙂
It's great to compare the info each person shares, as was mentioned earlier the guidelines vary from one transplant center to the next and from doctor to doctor. I personally have my local Nephrologist who is from the U of MN and then my Mayo transplant team to bounce ideas off of. I also check in with friends from CA and FL regularly to see what their teams say. So few studies that I know of have been done on Post Transplant Food Safety, which is why we all benefit from comparing notes. I've gotten fabulous ideas from the contributors on this site. I look forward to learning from you too as you share your transplant wisdom. Always something new to learn! 🙂

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My daughter is preparing for a preemptive kidney transplant in early November. She is in her mid twenties and will recover with us in her childhood home. My husband and I are trying to make plans for her diet post transplant. She has general advice from her dietician, but we would like to find an appropriate cookbook. There are many available that are intended for those with kidney disease. I wonder if there is one that is more helpful for her. Can anyone recommend a cookbook specifically for folks with a kidney transplant? Thank you

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@nkdonahue

My daughter is preparing for a preemptive kidney transplant in early November. She is in her mid twenties and will recover with us in her childhood home. My husband and I are trying to make plans for her diet post transplant. She has general advice from her dietician, but we would like to find an appropriate cookbook. There are many available that are intended for those with kidney disease. I wonder if there is one that is more helpful for her. Can anyone recommend a cookbook specifically for folks with a kidney transplant? Thank you

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I had my kidney transplant 18 months ago. I was told that I can eat anything now, other than the few things that don’t work with the immunosuppressants, pomegranates, grapefruit, Seville oranges. I’ve read on here that someone added star fruit. It felt so foreign to not have to be so careful. Of course they strongly recommend a healthy diet. Your daughter and caregiver will meet with a dietitian and will attend a class on healthy eating.

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@cmael

I had my kidney transplant 18 months ago. I was told that I can eat anything now, other than the few things that don’t work with the immunosuppressants, pomegranates, grapefruit, Seville oranges. I’ve read on here that someone added star fruit. It felt so foreign to not have to be so careful. Of course they strongly recommend a healthy diet. Your daughter and caregiver will meet with a dietitian and will attend a class on healthy eating.

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Thank you for your reply! I thought that reducing sodium intake to 2000mg daily would be required. I look forward to getting Moore details from her dietician.

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@nkdonahue

Thank you for your reply! I thought that reducing sodium intake to 2000mg daily would be required. I look forward to getting Moore details from her dietician.

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@nkdonahue I was told to keep my sodium below 2000 mg a day after my liver transplant. I didn't use a lot of salt before my transplant so that was easy for me, and I actually try to keep it below 1500 mg a day because otherwise, I do feel it in my fingers and feet.

As @cmael commented, the major restrictions are the fruits she mentioned, plus anything that is not well washed, like fruit, or not cooked — no sushi. I believe all post-transplant patients have those restrictions because they are based on foods that are contraindicated to the immunosuppressants, and when you are taking immnosuppressants your body cannot fight germs as well. Wash your fruit and vegetables well. I use a water/white vinegar bath on berries, you can get directions on that if you google. I started that because it helps to keep the fruit from spoiling because it kills the spores that may be on it but recently did read that it was the best way to wash berries for post-transplant patients also. Also, if you cutting a melon or any fruit, wash the skin first so if there is any bacteria on it, it doesn't get dragged through the fruit on the knife.

I am sure that after the transplant you will get information about foods not to eat and being careful about eating raw things. I don't think you really need a special cookbook.
JK

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@contentandwell

@nkdonahue I was told to keep my sodium below 2000 mg a day after my liver transplant. I didn't use a lot of salt before my transplant so that was easy for me, and I actually try to keep it below 1500 mg a day because otherwise, I do feel it in my fingers and feet.

As @cmael commented, the major restrictions are the fruits she mentioned, plus anything that is not well washed, like fruit, or not cooked — no sushi. I believe all post-transplant patients have those restrictions because they are based on foods that are contraindicated to the immunosuppressants, and when you are taking immnosuppressants your body cannot fight germs as well. Wash your fruit and vegetables well. I use a water/white vinegar bath on berries, you can get directions on that if you google. I started that because it helps to keep the fruit from spoiling because it kills the spores that may be on it but recently did read that it was the best way to wash berries for post-transplant patients also. Also, if you cutting a melon or any fruit, wash the skin first so if there is any bacteria on it, it doesn't get dragged through the fruit on the knife.

I am sure that after the transplant you will get information about foods not to eat and being careful about eating raw things. I don't think you really need a special cookbook.
JK

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@contentandwell I have not used anything but cool water to wash berries, and I do so just before eating them. Do you use the water and vinegar bath, then store the fruit to eat later? I would be very happy to prolong the freshness of pricey organic strawberries that we enjoy. Given that our daughter is just 24, I am relieved to hear that she may not have to change her diet as dramatically as I had anticipated. Do you have trouble making good choices at restaurants? Avoiding excessive salt seems like a challenge outside one's own kitchen. Thank you for your ideas.

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@nkdonahue

@contentandwell I have not used anything but cool water to wash berries, and I do so just before eating them. Do you use the water and vinegar bath, then store the fruit to eat later? I would be very happy to prolong the freshness of pricey organic strawberries that we enjoy. Given that our daughter is just 24, I am relieved to hear that she may not have to change her diet as dramatically as I had anticipated. Do you have trouble making good choices at restaurants? Avoiding excessive salt seems like a challenge outside one's own kitchen. Thank you for your ideas.

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@nkdonahue First, I want to welcome you to Connect, I neglected to do that in my first post to you. There are many so of us who are post-transplant that I’m sure it will be very helpful for you. I wish I had known about it sooner than I did.

On to strawberries – it’s funny that they always said to wash them just before eating them. I do wash the whole package now in the white vinegar/water wash. I read that in an article about making them last longer, and it really does generally give me an extra couple of days. I see it as a win-win. The berries last longer and the spores that may be on them are killed. Just make sure you rinse them well. Of course I need to eat a berry to make sure they are. 😉. I do the same with blueberries but raspberries are too fragile to do that with them.

I favor a couple of restaurants that are happy to customize the food for dietary requirements. If I have to go elsewhere I generally ask the server what can be done with limited sodium. Most restaurants have something that can be prepared low-sodium Generally eliminate anything that has been marinated because many restaurants start the marinating process much earlier in the day. When I know neither of these options will work I try to not have any sodium other than that meal, on that day. Once in a while I can’t really do any of that so I do end up having more sodium than I would like to have. I pay for it the next day in fluid retention but I don’t think an occasional lapse is going to hurt overall – my opinion so check with your transplant department.

Fortunately for me the prohibited foods are not things that are too much of a sacrifice to exclude, although I do love grapefruit juice and there is always some in the fridge because my husband loves it.

As you go through this process you will probably have more questions – ask away, that’s what we are here for.
JK

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@contentandwell

@nkdonahue First, I want to welcome you to Connect, I neglected to do that in my first post to you. There are many so of us who are post-transplant that I’m sure it will be very helpful for you. I wish I had known about it sooner than I did.

On to strawberries – it’s funny that they always said to wash them just before eating them. I do wash the whole package now in the white vinegar/water wash. I read that in an article about making them last longer, and it really does generally give me an extra couple of days. I see it as a win-win. The berries last longer and the spores that may be on them are killed. Just make sure you rinse them well. Of course I need to eat a berry to make sure they are. 😉. I do the same with blueberries but raspberries are too fragile to do that with them.

I favor a couple of restaurants that are happy to customize the food for dietary requirements. If I have to go elsewhere I generally ask the server what can be done with limited sodium. Most restaurants have something that can be prepared low-sodium Generally eliminate anything that has been marinated because many restaurants start the marinating process much earlier in the day. When I know neither of these options will work I try to not have any sodium other than that meal, on that day. Once in a while I can’t really do any of that so I do end up having more sodium than I would like to have. I pay for it the next day in fluid retention but I don’t think an occasional lapse is going to hurt overall – my opinion so check with your transplant department.

Fortunately for me the prohibited foods are not things that are too much of a sacrifice to exclude, although I do love grapefruit juice and there is always some in the fridge because my husband loves it.

As you go through this process you will probably have more questions – ask away, that’s what we are here for.
JK

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@jk Thanks for the welcome as well as your tips. I appreciate your sharing them.

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