The RCH has a legal obligation to meet strict regulatory
requirements pertaining to food safety and food handling practices. To align
with this, the RCH strongly recommends children admitted to hospital do not
consume meals not prepared by the RCH Kitchen. The RCH cannot accept responsibility for the
safety of food prepared from external sources.
Meals left at room temperature can allow harmful
bacteria to grow in food putting your child at risk of becoming very unwell.
Transporting and inadequately reheating food or reheating food multiple times
can also promote conditions for bacterial growth.
If meals are bought into RCH from external
suppliers, the following procedure must be adhered to.
2. Related Policy
Food Safety - Food brought into the RCH
from external sources for consumption by Parents/ Carers
Externally prepared meals: meals not prepared by RCH Kitchen.
External sources: retail vendors including those within the RCH premise
Food from home: foods which are prepared in a private domestic kitchen
Patients; the admitted child or adolescent.
FOR PATIENT’S FOOD:
a. Externally prepared meals:
be transported to the RCH with an icepack in an insulated food carry bag/esky.
be eaten immediately and cannot be stored in the fridge for later use.
your child does not finish the meal, it must be discarded.
meal must be heated through evenly in the ward pantry microwave, consumed immediately and not reheated again.
Staff will not be
involved in the preparation, handling or provision
of meals brought in from home or external sources.
b. Packaged shop brought perishable,
single serve, sealed (by the Manufacturer) food that require refrigeration
E.g. yoghurts, drinks,
be stored in the ward pantry ‘ patient fridge’ until they are consumed.
- Clearly label food with child’s name, ward, room number and date.
- BLUE Food Labels are available in the ward pantry.
Note: Partially consumed or opened foods must not be returned to the
ward pantry patient fridge. .
Non- perishable items/ snack foods e.g. breakfast cereals, fresh
whole and dried fruit, sweet and dry biscuits, plain cakes, muffins, scones,
pretzels, chips, popcorn, confectionary, soft drinks and UHT milk:
be individually sealed or packaged and can be stored at your child’s bedside.
d. Freezer Foods
- The only items that can be stored in the ward freezers are
single serve, sealed non-dairy icy poles.
- Clearly label food with child’s name, ward, room number and
- Blue Food Labels are available in the ward pantry.
Note: Partially consumed icy poles cannot be returned to the
Note: Any leftover foods delivered on patient meal trays must not be returned to the ward pantry.
- Food in parent fridges and freezers must not be offered to patients,
as parent fridges and freezers are not temperature monitored.
The fridge and freezer are checked regularly. Foods that do not comply with these guidelines maybe discarded without consultation in the interests of protecting the food safety of all patients and in compliance with food safety legislation.
Victorian Food Act 1984
Food Standards Australia
New Zealand Food Safety Standards (Chapter 3)
prepared by Nutrition & Food Services, Nov 2016.
Manager, Department of Nutrition and Food Services
Food Safety Officer, Department of Nutrition and Food Services