During pregnancy your immune system may be affected and you may be more susceptible than ever to food borne illnesses. Be careful at salad bars that look like the foods have been sitting out too long. Also be careful at buffets at parties and picnics. Often times the foods may contain eggs and mayonnaise that has been unrefrigerated for too long. Also beware of fish that may have high levels of mercury and unpasteurized cheeses, milks and juices. Practice good common sense when you are pregnant and if you have questions, be sure to talk to your health care provider. When in doubt always air for the side of caution and skip the possible offender.
A Answers (2)
Paula Greer, Midwifery Nursing, answered
Lori Maggioni, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
Pregnancy brings an increased risk of food-borne illness. Hormonal changes weaken your immune system and therefore practicing good food safety and preparation is the key to keeping you and your baby healthy!
During pregnancy, you should keep away from:
- Unpasteurized brie, feta, blue cheese, all soft cheeses
- Shark, swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish, and solid white albacore tuna because they contain mercury
- Unpasteurized milk and juice
- Cold cuts (unless reheated to steaming hot)
- Cooked foods and foods requiring refrigeration that have been left unrefrigerated for more than two hours
Washing your hands before and after food preparation is one of the easiest and most important ways to prevent food-borne illness. Cook well and refrigerate meat, fish, and poultry. Eggs should be cooked until firm. Make sure to thoroughly wash fruit and vegetable before consumption. Avoid cross contamination between raw and cooked foods.
Artificial sweeteners are safe to use during pregnancy except saccharin (found in Sweet n Low or pink sugar packets). This is because saccharin can cross the placenta and potentially harm your baby. Limit your caffeine intake to 10 oz. coffee or 20 oz. light tea per day. DO NOT drink alcohol while you are pregnant! During lactation, if you choose to have a drink, wait a few hours before nursing.