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11/08/18: What pregnant women should not eat or drink

dreamstime_m_49514148-660x441I just learned one of my friends is pregnant,  It made me think about food safety during pregnancy and I thought I would share my thoughts.

  1. Raw/undercooked meat
    • Meat needs to be cooked to 160 degrees to kill bacteria that could cause coli or Salmonella
  2. Imported soft cheeses
    • Imported soft cheeses such as brie, camembert, Roquefort, feta, gorgonzola, and Mexican style cheeses may contain Listeria
  3. Unwashed or prewashed or pre-cut fruit/vegetables
    • More people handling, and processing food means more chances for contamination. Purchasing whole fruit and vegetables and washing at home is safer, as well as purchasing precooked fruit and vegetables.
  4. Raw Milk
    • Raw milk directly from a cow can be infected with all types of bacteria. Some argue that milk loses nutrients during pasteurization, but the risk from coli and other pathogens found in raw milk outweigh any possible benefits.
  5. Raw Juice
    • Pasteurization is not dangerous – but raw beverages can be. Skipping pasteurization means an increased risk of contamination by bacteria, viruses, and parasites.
    • Note: Well water that has not been boiled or filtered should be avoided as well. It can be contaminated with runoff from chemical fertilizers or animal waste.
  6. Raw eggs
    • Raw or undercooked eggs can carry Salmonella. Homemade Caesar dressings, mayonnaise, ice cream or custards, and hollandaise sauce can all contain raw eggs.
  7. Oysters, clams, muscles
    • Foodborne illnesses, specifically norovirus and Vibrio, linked to shellfish has increased dramatically in the past five years because of global warming. Warmer water increases microbial growth, which ends up in filter feeders.
  8. Smoked fish
    • Smoked seafood can contain Listeria. Canned and shelf-safe fish such as tuna is ok to eat.
    • Note: Fish with high levels of mercury should be avoided by pregnant women and nursing moms because it can harm brain development.
  9. Home canned food
    • Home canned food can contain Botulism and other contaminants. At risk people such as pregnant women and immune-compromised people should avoid food that is not professionally canned.
  10. Sprouts
    • Raw sprouts are dangerous because of their growing process. The seeds are sprouted in standing water that can grow bacteria such as Salmonella.

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