It is important for a pregnant woman to practice food safety particularly paying close attention to what she is eating and how her food is prepared. Both the pregnant mother and her unborn child are susceptible to food-borne diseases. There are diseases that can result from intake of infected food or water. Poor food handling and eating raw food while pregnant can also increase the risk of getting food-borne diseases.

There are three microbes that an expecting woman should stay away from. These are:

  1. Listeria monocytogenes. This can cause listeriosis. These microbes can be found from contaminated soft cheeses and meats.
  2. Toxoplasma gondii. This can cause toxoplasmosis. Infected mothers can be asymptomatic or may have mild symptoms but the effects of this disease can be enormous to the unborn child. These microbes can be found in both human and animal feces (particularly cats) and on uncooked meat and raw fruits and vegetables.
  3. Salmonella. This can cause salmonellosis. It is found in foods contaminated with animal feces and can be transmitted through eating these foods or through infected food handlers.

Standard safe food handling practices that every pregnant mother should know:

  1. Wash hands with warm water and soap before and after eating especially after going to the bathroom and after handling animals or pets.
  2. Wash clean all raw fruits and vegetables before consumption.
  3. Avoid cross contamination by separating the uncooked food from the ready-to-eat or cooked foods.
  4. Use a food thermometer to check temperature while cooking. Cook susceptible foods thoroughly.
  5. Avoid foods that are unpasteurized.
  6. Consume foods before the expiration date.
  7. Refrigerator temperature should be below 400F.
  8. Whenever in doubt. You can always throw it out.

Related posts:

  1. Pregnancy and Food Poisoning
  2. Food Poisoning and Pregnancy
  3. Pet and Animal Safety
  4. Pregnancy and Pets
  5. Toxoplasmosis and Pregnancy

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