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Food Brought Into {{org_field_name}} by Visitors Policy

{{org_field_name}} recognises that food used in the home should be stored and prepared safely in compliance with all best practice and legislation, including:

The home intends to ensure full compliance with the regulations and guidelines at all times and understands that this must include ensuring the safety of food brought into the home by visitors and others as gifts for residents.

This policy has been informed by an FSA care homes supplement which also contains guidance on “gift food”. “Gift food” includes food brought into the home by relatives, friends and carers, and food donated to the home.

CQC Fundamental Standards Compliance

Care home providers in England must comply with the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014 in order to maintain their registration with the Care Quality Commission. With regard to food and drink, the home understands that Regulation 14: Meeting Nutritional and Hydration Needs includes a requirement for care home providers to ensure that the nutritional and hydration needs of people receiving care are met.


  1. The families and friends of residents are encouraged to bring in food gifts to the home, both for the resident they are visiting and in general for all residents if they wish.
  2. Families and friends who wish to bring in food gifts should be referred to the guidance provided by the home in the service user’s guide relating to the safety of foodstuffs brought into the home as gifts.
  3. This guidance states that the home is anxious to ensure that people receiving care are not exposed to the food poisoning risks associated with unsafe, out-of-date or poorly stored and transported foodstuffs.
  4. Families and friends are advised to:
    a. bring in low-risk foods such as fruit, biscuits and chocolate
    b. avoid bringing hot food
    c. avoid using raw egg in foods that will not be cooked thoroughly, such as mousse, icing and desserts
    d. store and transport home-made or unpackaged foods in a clean, sealable container, preferably plastic and not glass
    e. check the “use by” date before bringing in food
    f. keep cooked food, chilled food, or cakes and desserts containing cream, in the fridge and transport them in a “cool box” wherever possible.
  5. If a resident’s family or friends bring types of food as gifts that are unsuitable, care home staff should tactfully discuss the issue with them and explain why the guidance is important.
  6. Where food is donated from a relative, a charity or other organisation, care home staff should make all efforts to ensure that the food has been handled safely. Staff should inspect the food and record the delivery of the food into the home in the same way as other foodstuffs procured directly by the home. Records of delivery dates should be kept and recorded checks should ensure:
    a. the condition of the food
    b. that the food has been stored, packed and transported in a hygienic way
    c. that the packaging is undamaged and unopened
    d. that chilled and frozen foods are kept cold/frozen until delivered
    e. that all foods are within their “use by” date when delivered.
  7. Staff should never use foods that have passed their “use by” date and should dispose of out-of-date or unsuitable food. They should advise residents to do the same with food brought in for them by their relatives and friends and should help residents dispose of unsuitable food only with the permission of the resident concerned.


All staff are responsible for the implementation of this policy. Overall responsibility for ensuring the policy is implemented, monitored and reviewed rests with {{org_field_name}} manager.

Information on the policy will be:


All new staff will be encouraged to read this policy as part of their induction process. Those with specific duties and responsibilities under the policy, such as catering staff responsible for checking the condition of food deliveries, will be offered additional training.

Responsible Person: {{org_field_registered_manager_first_name}} {{org_field_registered_manager_last_name}}

Reviewed on: {{last_update_date}}

Copyright ©2024 {{org_field_name}}. All rights reserved

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