Enteral nutrition (EN) has host of benefits to offer to critically ill patients and is the preferred route of feeding over parenteral nutrition. But along with the many outcome benefits of enteral feeding come the potential for adverse effects that includes gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances mainly attributed to contaminated feeds. Currently, EN is practiced using blenderized/kitchen prepared feeds or scientifically developed commercial feeds. Commercial feeds based on their formulation may be divided as ready-to-mix powder formulas or ready-to-hang sterile liquid formulas. A holistic view on potential sterility of EN from preparation to patient delivery would be looked upon. These sterility issues may potentially result in clinical complications, and hence process-related errors need to be eliminated in hospital practice, since immunocompromised intensive care unit patients are at high risk of infection. This review intends to discuss the various EN practices, risk of contamination, and ways to overcome the same for better nutrition delivery to the patients. Among the various types of enteral formulas and delivery methods, this article tries to summarize several benefits and risks associated with each delivery system using the currently available literature.
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