Nutrition and food safety
Healthy nutrition is one of the most important factors that assist our children during their journey against cancer. As such, emerged the idea of establishing a department for nutrition and food safety to take care of the food that children receive.
The department was established in 2007, with the beginning of the Hospital operation. It pursued to produce healthy safe food for all of its consumers. As the department’s employees were seeking to constantly improve performance, they started to get prepared for the ISO 22000:2005 certificate for food safety and management systems. The department obtained the certificate for the first time in 2009, and kept renewing it until September 2022, when the certificate issuance was updated to become ISO 220000:2018.
In December 2022, the FSSC 22000 certificate, which is an international accreditation, was obtained. The Hospital is the first institution to obtain this certificate in the Middle East, in the field of food and beverage. This accreditation lasts three years, until the end of 2025, and it is renewable. During this period there will be annual surprise visits to ensure the continuity of all measures that qualified us to obtain this accreditation which is considered one of the highest international certificates in the field. Obtaining this certificate requires the application of strict standards in all the preparation phases, starting with terms of supply, receiving, storing up to preparation, cooking and food allergy tests. This is in addition to the products’ follow up system using the operational number to control critical points and prevent mistakes before they happen, which protects from wasting resources.
Among the department’s distinguishing features is that all food safety specialists are internationally certified as lead auditors and external auditors in food safety and there are 8 nutrition specialists.
1- The department pursues to offer safe food by following and applying the requirements, law and legislations in the food safety field.
2- Create diet plan that meets each patient's nutritional needs that is done by following the calculations and recommendation of clinical nutrition physician and pharmacist .
Food Safety Day
Recommendations of the food safety day celebration
- Nitrite, E. coli and saturated fat are behind the spread of colon cancer and returning to a healthy diet is the most important protection.
- Be aware of these signs when you buy grains and crackers:
- Make sure to read the nutrition facts card associated to food products, and to read production date, expiry date, added items and preservation conditions of food product.
- When you buy different types of grains, especially manufactured ones such as nuts, spices and crackers (which contains grains especially corn) you must make sure they are free of any type of mold. In case there is mold, the whole quantity must be discarded, since this mold contains aflatoxinwhich is fungal toxin produced by certain types of fungi and it grows in hot humid weather and accumulate in human body causing diseases especially cancer. When you buy these grains you must make sure that there are no fractions, defects or any weird color.
- Committing to observe all safety guidelines of food production stages (from the farm to the dining table) where the crop may be infected with fungi or microbes during the stage of agriculture, harvest, manufacture or storing. It may infect animal food, hence the animal transmits the infection through meat or milk.
- Ensure the validity of infants milk, especially imported ones where they should be analyzed to insure that it is free of any contaminations.
- As a result of worldwide spread of stomach bacteria, fruits and vegetables must be washed well, and tighten the vigilance regarding restaurants that produce fresh food that is not exposed to heat such as different types of salads, and periodic examination of food producers to insure food cleanliness and that it does not contain stomach bacteria which is related to stomach cancer, meanwhile, new studies proved its relation to colon cancer too.
- Stomach bacteria is also found in raw dairy and dairy products that are not treated with heat, hence it is recommended to eat heat-treated dairy products.
- Paying attention to breastfeeding since it is closely related to general immunity and gastrointestinal tract immunity, as it is the first protection and food safety method, in comparison to manufactured milk that may be exposed to poor storage whether it is inside the box before usage, during preparation or in infant’s bottle.
- The importance of returning to a healthy diet, after new research demonstrated that the spread of colon cancer worldwide in young ages is due to changes in food style and the spread of fast food which is rich in saturated fat and added items such as mayonnaise and ketchup and which doesn’t contain elements that protect from diseases such as fibers and anti-oxidants.
- Another reason to limit the consumption of fast food is its inclusion of a type of E. coli strains which cause colon cancer as demonstrated by latest findings.
- Limit eating processed meat since most of it includes nitrite (used as preservative, gives meat red color and improves the taste and aroma of meat). In 2017, the WHO announced the relation of this substance to colon cancer, where during the digestion of this type of meat, cancerous substance called nitrosamines is formed inside human body. Researches affirm the close relationship between excessive consumption of this type of processed meat and colon cancer.