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Food Safety While You're Pregnant

  • Raw Meat: Any form of uncooked or undercooked beef, poultry, seafood can lead to illness since they are known to contain harmful kind of contaminants such as salmonella, toxoplasmosis, coliform bacteria or any other form of contaminants. They are known to contain parasites or bacteria which can also include listeria which can lead to the pregnant woman falling ill and also causing potential harm to their unborn baby. Hence all the seafood dishes must be cooked at 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Hence one should avoid seafood’s such as sashimi, sushi, raw scallops and ceviche. Along with fish, all the meat and poultry should also be cooked thoroughly prior to consuming them. One can make use of a food thermometer to ensure that  the meat has reached its recommended safety minimum internal temperature.
  • Deli Meat: This is known to be contaminated with listeria. It is said to cross the lining of the placenta thereby leading to infection or blood poisoning and can also cause miscarriage.
  • Fish containing mercury: It is ideal to avoid fishes such as king mackerel, shark or tilefish since they are known to contain high amount of mercury which can trigger any kind of development delays or may also lead to the damage of the brain in the unborn.
  • Smoked seafood: This is very commonly called as lox, nova style or jerky. The refrigerated as well as smoked seafood are known to contain listeria which as mentioned above may lead to instances of miscarriage. The refrigerated smoked seafood should be first reheated at 165 degrees Fahrenheit before it would be accepted as good for consumption. During pregnancy it is considered ok to consume smoked seafood which are canned or in any other cooked dishes.
  • Fish which have been contaminated with the industrial waste: Fishes from the polluted rivers and lakes are best to be avoided since they can lead to complications in those who are pregnant since such polluted rivers or lakes may be contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls.
  • Raw shellfish: As per research it has been stated that undercooked shellfish such as clams, mussels or oysters are the major contributors of illness caused due to seafood.
  • Raw form of eggs: It is ideal to avoid raw eggs as well as products made from raw egg such as homemade Caesar dressings, hollandaise sauces, custards, homemade ice-cream and mayonnaise since it can lead to complications in the pregnancy. Eggs which are undercooked are known to contain salmonella hence to safely consume eggs, it is better to cook them until the yolks are firm enough hence this way the salmonella are destroyed. For those preparing casserole or any other dishes which contain eggs should first ensure that the dish is cooked at a temperature which is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Any of the batter which is known to contain raw eggs such as cookies, pastries, cake or brownies should ideally be avoided by pregnant women.
  • Cheeses which are soft: Imported form of soft cheese such as camembert, brie or the Mexican style cheese are known to contain listeria which again can lead to miscarriage. The soft cheese in particular is known to be made from unpasteurized milk hence when pregnant, a woman is supposed to avoid cheese such as brie, quesco fresco, Roquefort and quesco blanco. Cheese made with unpasteurized milk is also known to contain E.coli. Hence it is better to go in for hard cheese such as cheddar or the swiss one. In case if the pregnant woman wants to continue eating soft cheese then they should first check the label of the product so as to ensure that the cheese is made from pasteurized milk
  • Unpasteurized milk: Similar to the case of soft cheese, the unpasteurized milk is also known to be found to contain listeria which has been considered to be the number one cause of miscarriages as well as blood poisoning among those pregnant. It is also known to contain other bacteria such as E. coli, campylobacter or tuberculosis hence to avoid getting any of these illness during pregnancy it is best to avoid such milk.
  • Veggies not washed properly: Those vegetables which are not washed thoroughly can potentially expose the woman and her baby to toxoplasmosis.