Pregnancy is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful and memorable experiences of a woman’s life. It is also a period that’s fraught with risks and every woman needs to be on their guard to ensure that no harm comes to their baby. Their immune system is considerably weakened when they are pregnant because it has the added responsibility of protecting a developing baby. This means that a pregnant woman is more susceptible to germs, viruses and bacteria that can lead to food poisoning. This doesn’t mean that your food is literally poisoned, it just makes you sick so you suffer from diarrhea and vomiting. Some women also experience chills and temperature and feel quite unwell.
Most of the food poisoning is caused by bacteria like clostridium perfringens, campylobacter and salmonella. The less frequent yet more dangerous causes of food poisoning are listeria, E. coli 0157 and cryptosporidium. You may need antibiotics in serious cases and your baby may also be given some as this can have an impact on their health as well. Therefore, it is essential for pregnant women to take necessary precautions for preventing food poisoning as much as possible. How can that be done? Here are the top ways to prevent food poisoning in pregnancy:
1. First things first, you need to wash your hands properly before and after preparing meals because they can be covered in bacteria and dirt and the germs will spread. This dirt and bacteria can come from the toilet, bin, garden or even the dirty dishes you put in the dishwasher. You could transfer these germs to the food and this could lead to food poisoning. Try Amana dishwasher; it is safer and better.
2. You also need to wash your hands after you have handled raw fish and meat as bacteria from them could spread to other foods, which is defined as cross-contamination.
3. Always avoid eating any kind of raw and uncooked food such as fresh tuna, red snapper, king mackerel and tile fish. There are high levels of mercury in these types of fish.
4. Raw eggs are also not recommended because they increase your chances of food poisoning in pregnancy. They are typically used in Caesar salad, mayonnaise, mousse, eggnog and Hollandaise sauce.
5. If you decide to eat raw fruits and vegetables, you should wash them thoroughly because you don’t know what germs or bacteria may be stuck on them.
6. If you have leftover food in the fridge, which has been in there for more than two days, it is best to throw it out. Eating it only makes you more susceptible to food poisoning and you don’t want to take a risk like that with your baby.
7. Smoked or pickled fish, cold cuts and lunch meats should be avoided unless you have cooked them until they are steaming hot. Meats should be cooked thoroughly enough that there are no traces of blood left.
8. It is also essential for pregnant women to be careful of the kind of water they are drinking. Untreated water can be very unsafe because their immune system is not strong enough to combat the bacteria and germs in it and this puts your baby at risk. Therefore, you should drink clean, treated and filtered water at all times.
9. You should eliminate soft cheese that’s made from unpasteurized milk such as Camembert, queso blanco, feta, Panela, queso fresco and brie.
10. When you go shopping, you should get your veggies bagged separately from the meat because the juices from the raw meat could easily contaminate your vegetables and you could get food poisoning.
11. It is also best to keep hot food hot and cold food cold, especially at a buffet or barbecue. Salads with mayo or eggs should be kept very chilled and you should not consume any leftovers. Hot foods can be kept hot when you use a chafing dish.
12. Cooked food should always be kept at the top of the fridge and raw food at the bottom. You should also check the expiry dates of the food items and never consume something if it has passed its expiry date. Just because it looks good and smells fine doesn’t mean it is without bacteria. The date is provided for a reason; never make the mistake of ignoring it.
13. Use a thermometer to ensure you have cooked food thoroughly or at least do it during your pregnancy. You don’t want any harm to befall your baby and this is a safe way out. Also check your fridge’s thermometer to ensure it is at the right temperature to prevent bacteria from growing in the food.
Following these tips can aid you in avoiding food poisoning in pregnancy. This helps you prevent disastrous consequences such as miscarriage and keeps you and your baby in good health.