April 12, 2024

Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy

FoodSafety.gov has put together a list of foods that pregnant women should avoid eating. These foods can be contaminated with pathogenic bacteria that can make you sick, make the fetus ill, and even cause miscarriage and stillbirth. Some bacteria such as Listeria and Toxoplasma can cause serious problems even if you don’t feel sick. In fact, pregnant women with listeriosis often only have very mild symptoms and don’t realize their fetus could be at risk.

Pregnant WomanSoft cheeses are at the top of the list, especially those made from unpasteurized milk. Those include Brie, feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco, and queso fresco, which can harbor E. coli or Listeria. If you enjoy cheese, eat hard cheeses such as Cheddar. Make sure any cheese you eat is made from pasteurized milk.

Raw cookie dough or cake batter is another no-no. Not only are raw eggs often contaminated with Salmonella, but raw flour can contain pathogenic bacteria. Any food made with eggs or flour should be thoroughly cooked before eating, so even if you use pasteurized eggs, don’t eat raw cookie dough.

Raw or undercooked fish or meat should not be part of your diet. Those foods can contain parasites or bacteria. Fish should be cooked to 145 degrees F; pork to 145 degrees F; chicken to 165 degrees F; steaks to 145 degrees F; and ground meat to 160 degrees F. Raw shellfish such as oysters and clams can contain Vibrio bacteria and should be cooked to 145 degrees F. Smoked seafood is not safe, and should be cooked to 165 degrees F. before eating.

Unpasteurized juice and milk should be avoided. Those products can contain E. coli, Campylobacter, Listeria, and Salmonella. Only buy pasteurized juices and dairy products. If you do buy unpasteurized juice or cider, bring it to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute before consuming.

Raw and undercooked sprouts are not recommended for pregnant women. Sprouts have been the source of many outbreaks over the years, because they can have E. coli and Salmonella bacteria encapsulated within the sprout seed. Cook sprouts thoroughly, or just avoid them.

Pregnant women should also be careful with other foods. Luncheon meats and deli meats can contain Listeria bacteria. Homemade eggnog and ice cream could be made with uncooked eggs. Pates and meat spreads can contain Listeria.


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