BACKGROUND Fasting before elective surgeries is a regularly practiced norm for the past few decades. Preoperative fasting reduces the gastric volume and prevents aspiration during surgery. The guidelines for duration of fasting has been promulgated by the ASA, nevertheless, in practice there are wide discrepancies. This study was done to assess the level of knowledge and practices regarding preoperative fasting among health care providers. MATERIALS AND METHODS The doctors and nurses of surgical departments of our hospital were then taken up for the study. A total of 122 health care providers were included in this cross-sectional study, of which 65 were nurses. A structured self-administered questionnaire was used to collect the data regarding fasting times prior to various anaesthesia and fasting times for different food stuffs. RESULTS The mean duration of fasting for solids was 12 hours and for liquids was 7 hours. Overall, 49% of the study participants had adequate knowledge on the duration of preoperative fasting. Over 30% of the participants felt that the duration of fasting can be lowered for various types of anaesthesia. CONCLUSION There is an imminent need for bringing about a change in the attitudes and practices regarding the preoperative fasting among the health care providers. This study has elucidated the role of anaesthetists in pioneering this change by way of creating awareness and monitoring the implementation of the ASA guidelines in health care practice. KEYWORDS Elective Surgery, General Anaesthesia, Preoperative Fasting, Pulmonary Aspiration.