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Because pregnancy affects the immune system, pregnant women and their unborn babies are more susceptible to the bacteria, viruses, and parasites that cause foodborne illnesses. Even if you don't feel sick, some microorganisms like Listeria and Toxoplasma can infect your baby and cause serious health problems. Your baby is also sensitive to toxins from the food that you eat, such as mercury in certain kinds of fish.
SOFT cheeses made from unpasteurized milk, including Brie, Feta, Camembert, Roquefort, queso blanco, and queso fresco may contain E. coli or Listeria. Listeria is a bacterium which grows at refrigeration temperatures and can cause miscarriages.
Homemade RAW cookie dough and cake batter may contain Salmonella because of the eggs in the recipes.
Raw or undercooked fish (sushi) may contain parasites or bacteria.
Certain kinds of fish, such as shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish (golden or white snapper) contain high levels of mercury.
Unpasteurized juice or cider (including fresh squeezed) may contain E. coli. Unpasteurized milk may contain bacteria such as Campylobacter, E. coli, Listeria, or Salmonella. Drink pasteurized milk only.
Salads containing potentially hazardous foods (foods which have to be temperature and time controlled for safety) are often made and sold in delis. These are the salads such as ham salad, chicken salad, macaroni salad and seafood salads. They may contain Listeria, and remember, it can grow at cold temperatures all the way down to 32°F.
Raw shellfish, such as oysters and clams may contain Vibrio bacteria. Cook shellfish to 145° F.
Raw or undercooked sprouts, such as alfalfa, clover, mung bean, and radish sprouts may contain E. coli or Salmonella. Cook sprouts thoroughly.
Hot dogs, luncheon meats, cold cuts, fermented or dry sausage, and other deli-style meat and poultry may contain Listeria. Heat thoroughly before eating.
Eggs and pasteurized egg products which are undercooked may contain Salmonella. Cook eggs until yolks are firm.
Homemade Ice Cream or Eggnog may contain uncooked eggs, which may contain Salmonella. Make eggnog and ice cream with a pasteurized egg product or buy pasteurized eggnog.
Fish may contain parasites or bacteria. Cook fish to 145° F as measured with a food thermometer.
Undercooked beef, veal, lamb, and pork (including ground meat) may contain E. coli. Cook beef, veal, and lamb steaks and roasts to 145° F. Cook pork and ground meats to 160° F.
Unpasteurized meat spreads or refrigerated pates or meat spreads may contain Listeria. Eat canned versions, which are safe.
Undercooked poultry (including ground poultry) and stuffing (dressing) made with poultry products such as stock and giblets may contain bacteria such as Campylobacter or Salmonella. Cook poultry and/or interior of stuffing to 165° F.
Refrigerated versions of smoked seafood are not safe, unless they have been cooked to 165° F. Eat canned versions, which are safe, or cook to 165° F.
There is NO amount of alcohol that is known to be safe for a developing fetus. Caffeine acts as a diuretic and depletes calcium and so it is advisable to avoid caffeine during pregnancy.
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