Reconstitution of Enteral Feeds ( Adults ) - Standard Operating Procedure for the

Publication: 20/06/2013  --
Last review: 30/04/2019  
Next review: 04/04/2022  
Standard Operating Procedure
ID: 3356 
Approved By: Trust Clinical Guidelines Group 
Copyright© Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust 2019  


This Standard Operating Procedure is intended for use by healthcare professionals within Leeds unless otherwise stated.
For healthcare professionals in other trusts, please ensure that you consult relevant local and national guidance.

Standard Operating Procedure for the Reconstitution of Enteral Feeds (Adults)


There are occasions when there is clinical need to prescribe an enteral feed that is not supplied in a ready-to-use preparation.

Reconstituted feeds should only be used when there is no suitable ready-to-use alternative.

The feed should be prepared in a dedicated clean area (e.g. clean utility) using sterile equipment.  In order to prevent contamination no open part of the enteral feeding delivery system, feed or enteral tube should be in contact with the hands, clothes, skin or other non-disinfected surface.

Use an aseptic non-touch technique for preparation of the feed.

Back to top

Procedure method

  • Decontaminate hands
  • Clean work surface using detergent wipes
  • Collect equipment required, guided by the prescription
  • Check expiry dates
  • Decontaminate hands; put on apron and non sterile gloves
  • Prepare and mix the feed according to the prescription using aseptic non-touch technique, avoiding contamination of feed products and any equipment in contact with the feed.  Use a method that minimises the number of stages in the process,

e.g. 1 When preparing ‘Elemental’, discard sterile water from the bottle until the required amount remains, carefully add the powdered feed (using a sterile funnel if necessary) avoiding spillage/contamination, replace the top of the sterile water bottle, turn upside down to mix.


e.g. 2 Empty desired amount of powder into sterile jug and add desired amount of sterile water. Stir mixture well using the barrel of a sterile 60ml enteral syringe until thoroughly mixed.

  • Label the feed including
    • Patient details including hospital number
    • Feed details (name, volume, etc)
    • Date and time reconstituted
  • Carefully pour required amount of feed into reservoir of the administration set avoiding contact with non-sterile parts
  • Set up the feed according to Trust protocol ‘Setting up a feed’. Reconstituted feeds must be administered over a maximum of 4 hours calculated from the time at which they were held at room temperature
  • Store any remaining feed in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours (temperature not exceeding 4°C) after which time it must be discarded.

Back to top


Record: 3356
  • To standardise practice
  • To minimise the risk of contamination of feeds administered via an enteral tube feeding system
Clinical condition:

Any adult patient requiring enteral tube feeds

Target patient group: Adult inpatients
Target professional group(s): Secondary Care Nurses
Adapted from:

Evidence base

Approved By

Trust Clinical Guidelines Group

Document history

LHP version 1.0

Related information

Not supplied

Equity and Diversity

The Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust is committed to ensuring that the way that we provide services and the way we recruit and treat staff reflects individual needs, promotes equality and does not discriminate unfairly against any particular individual or group.