Benepali, Steak and Cheese: Hi I think this is my first... - NRAS


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Benepali, Steak and Cheese

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I think this is my first post. Sorry to go over old ground for some of you, but I'm confused.

I've just started a course of Benepali a year after being diagnosed with RA and working through a course of Methotrexate, Sulfasalazine, Hydroxychloroquine, Prednisolone etc.

I've been told by the nurse today that I need to avoid soft cheese, paté, salami etc and that all steaks I eat must be well done!!

Now I understand the logic behind avoiding these foods, but I'm a little confused because the Arthritis Research UK info packs don't warn me that I shouldn't eat these foods.

Is this out of date information or just a best practice super-cautious approach to take when on biologics?

I don't eat a lot of meat, but when I do I like to enjoy it. The same with fish (sushi), cheese etc. I've already had to give up the booze (mostly) for the methotrexate, it's just a bit upsetting...

I do know I shouldn't moan as I know it could be much worse.

What does everyone else do?

6 Replies

It is a cautious approach. On biologics you are at slightly greater risk of infections so some places do recommend that you stick to similar principles as pregnant women to avoid risk of listeria and salmonella. So soft & blue cheeses, pâtés etc. could be a risk. However steak?

Anyway, I personally believe it is a personal choice. I am not a doctor, so always defer to a doctor (not necessarily a nurse tho'). If you are generally in good health, and pay good attention to food hygiene then for me that is sufficient. So pay attention to buying things like pâté from quality supplies, not bargain basement products that could have been lying around a while. Don't eat from open buffets, and wash your hands. My rheumatologist does not think I need to change food behaviours, but I don't know if she says that to everyone as I am a pretty hale & hearty creature. I am about to start biologics, so I guess I will be extra cautious for a few weeks, and then go back to normal!

Hi. I’ve been on various biologics for 7 years now and can honestly say I’ve never been told that. I know the infection side of it is important so I practice a lot of hand washing and hand gel but I have a balanced diet and drink (!) you still have to have a life and think this advice is very over cautious but I could be wrong.

The risk with steak is contamination on the outside so sear well but can be pink inside. Burgers MUST be cooked through as they have chopped surface right through. As for pate, I eat supermarket sealed ones but avoid at deli counter and eating out. It's all the same advice that the NHS gives to pregnant ladies and that advice has been updated (and relaxed) so look that up.

It seems a bit over cautious. I’ve recently started a biologic and I don’t think food was mentioned during the preliminary tests and advice. I was given lots of leaflets full of info about various biologics and they just said we are a bit more at risk of getting infections so stay away from people if they’re infectious and wash hands etc. In the last few days I’ve had Brie ( probably not unpasteurised) barbecued rare steaks, and other stuff. Mind you in general I’m pretty healthy and tough, but if you feel worried you must take their advice as it’s important to stay as healthy as you can with a good diet and good food hygiene as Helix mentioned.

Thanks everyone. I think i just need to stick to a bit of good old fashioned common sense.

I think i just prefer it when there's no room for ambiguity when following rules.

I'm a fairly healthy, sensible eater and pretty resilient when it comes to food poisoning/illness in general. It's usually my wife who gets ill whilst we both eat the same food.

I've had a look through the nhs advice for pregnant women, the risk from rare steak/joints of meat is toxoplasmosis rather than listeria.

I'll mention it to my specialist nurse and consultant next time i see them but for now i think i can cope.

I cooked a cheer-me-up steak for dinner last night and inadvertently cooked it well done! It wasn't so bad.

I was never told that when I started benepali, however a few months after starting it I accidentally gave myself food poisoning from some undercooked prawns so I'm definitely more cautious now but things like salami and steak I just love them too much to avoid, as long s your sensible it will be fine. It's the chest throat and ear infections that got me. :(

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