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What is neutropenia?

Neutropenia is a condition characterized by low white blood cells, which means that your immune system is weakened and you are at increased risk of infection. It is a common condition in people with cancer and may be caused by treatment or the disease itself. People with neutropenia are typically put on neutropenic diets, which are designed to lower the risk for food borne infections. People on neutropenic diets should not eat foods that put them at high risk for infections (e.g., raw or undercooked meat, fish and eggs; unpasteurized dairy products; aged cheese; and unwashed, raw fruit and vegetables). Proper time and temperature must be maintained when preparing food; hot foods remain at 140�F or hotter and cold foods remain at 40�F or colder.

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