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Infection Control - enteral feeds

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Infection control - Enteral feeds

Enteral feeds can be prescribed for nutritional support of patients with cystic fibrosis while in hospital and at home.

Guideline for hang times of enteral feeds(3)

Formula Maximum Hang Time
Expressed Breast Milk (EBM)
Infant feed made from powder
Infant pre-packaged sterile liquid formula 'ready to feed'
4 hours
Modular feed infants or children
Modular feed adolescents or adults
4 hours
12 hours
Canned or liquid feed which has been opened or poured into another bottle 12 hours
Ready to hang liquid feed 24-36 hours as per manufacturers instructions
N.B. Discard any unused feed 24 hours after preparation


  1. Casewell M W, Cooper J E , Webster M, Enteral feeds contaminated with Enterobacter cloacae as a cause of septicaemia. Br Med J(Clin Res Ed). 1981 Mar 21; 282(6268): 973 [cited 2016 Feb. 27] Ful text available at
  2. National Clinical Guideline Centre. (2012). Infection: Prevention and Control of Healthcare-Associated Infections in Primary and Community Care: Partial Update of NICE Clinical Guideline 2. Retrieved from
  3. Dietitians New Zealand Clinical Handbook, 10th Edition 2013, Lyn Gillanders (Editor) and Anna Sloan (Deputy Editor)
  4. NZ CF Clinical Network Group

Information last reviewed: October 2016

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