Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published on 1 Nov 2011

Test diet - occult blood

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To avoid all sources of haemoglobin.


A diet eliminating foods containing any meat or poultry.


This is a test diet that may be ordered in preparation for an occult blood test to investigate blood loss via the gastrointestinal tract.

Nutritional adequacy

May not be nutritionally adequate unless fortified foods (e.g. cereals) are used to provide adequate iron and zinc. High-protein plant foods or eggs should be available at each meal.


The test diet is usually required for 48 hours before stool collection.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishes Dishes specially prepared for vegetarians based on beans, peas, tofu, textured vegetable protein (TVP), lentils, nuts, milk, cheese or eggs Any dishes containing meat, poultry or fish
Sauces, gravies Sauces without meat fats or juices; butter acceptable Stocks and gravies made with meat or animal products
Starchy vegetables / pasta / rice All -
Vegetables All -
Soups Vegetables soups made without animal-based stocks Soups prepared with meat, poultry or fish
Sandwiches All others, e.g. peanut butter, cheese, egg All meat, poultry and fish
Salads, dressings All others All meat, poultry and fish
Breads, cereals All -
Spreads Jam, peanut butter, Vegemite™, margarine, butter, honey Meat and fish spreads
Hot breakfast choices Eggs, baked beans, mushrooms, tomatoes, canned spaghetti, creamed corn Meat (e.g. bacon)
Fruit All -
Yoghurt All -
Desserts All -
Milk and cheese All -
Beverages All -
Biscuits All -
Miscellaneous All -


  1. National Bowel Cancer Screening Program, Australian Government. Screening with a faecal occult blood test (FOBT).
  2. Joseph A. Compliance with fecal occult blood testing: the role of restrictive diets. Am J Public Health 1988;78:839-41.
  3. Norfleet RG. Effect of diet on fecal occult blood testing in patients with colorectal polyps. Digest Dis Sci 1986;31:498-501.
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