Guidelines for Bringing-in Food by Relatives or Visitors into Hospital

A well-balanced menu is provided in our hospital. In order to ensure food and patient safety, it is NOT recommended to bring food items into the hospital when visiting patients.

If it is necessary to bring food into the hospital for a patient, there are important guidelines to follow to ensure it is safe and suitable:

  1. Seek advice from ward nurse/dietitian/speech therapist before planning to bring food into the hospital.
  2. Ensure the food brought into the hospital is suitable for the patient especially when the patient is on a special diet or with swallowing problem.
  3. Always wash your hands before handling food or drinks, the food should be fresh and cooked thoroughly. Food should be stored in a sealed container before bringing into the hospital to prevent contamination.
  4. If food is required to be stored in the fridge, it must be placed in an airtight container and marked with the patient’s name, bed number and date. Food items must not be kept for more than 24 hours.
  5. Fruits should be washed and peeled before consumption.
  6. All cooked food brought into the hospital should be consumed immediately.
  7. Discard all leftover food properly.
  8. Do not bring any raw food or perishable food, such as sashimi, salads etc.
  9. Do not consume food passes its use-by date. If in doubt, discard it.
  10. Do not bring any food with strong smell which can cause discomfort to others.

Food can be brought into the hospital (examples)Food NOT recommended to bring into the hospital (examples)
Fresh fruits (unpeeled/uncut)Cold Food (e.g. frozen yoghurt, ice-cream, fresh milk)
Candy or packed biscuitsCream cake
Bottled/Canned drinksUndercooked/raw/perishable food (e.g. sashimi, salads)


  • Hospital Authority (2019). Information Sheet to Patients’ Relatives / Visitors for Handling of Food Brought into Hospital.
  • NSW Government HealthShare (2013). Guidelines for bringing occasional food to patients.

Effective from 1 Jan 2024