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Foods to AVOID During Pregnancy

13 Oct Foods to AVOID During Pregnancy

Foods to avoid during pregnancy (Part 1)

Below is part one, of two highlighting foods to avoid and foods that are safe to eat during pregnancy.

Make sure eggs are thoroughly cooked until the whites and yolks are solid, to prevent the risk of salmonella which would cause food poisoning.
It’s unlikely that food poisoning would harm your baby, but it can give you a severe bout of vomiting and diarrhoea.
Avoid mayonnaise as it contains raw and under cooked eggs, especially if its homemade.

Raw or under cooked meat
Do not eat raw or undercooked meat. Also avoid meat joints and steaks if they have been cooked rare, because of the potential risk of toxoplasmosis. Make sure all meat and poultry are thoroughly cooked and there’s no trace of pink or blood – especially with poultry, pork, sausages and minced meat, including burgers.

Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite that can be found in raw and under cooked meat. The infection caused can damage your baby, but it’s important to remember that toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is very rare.
Toxoplasmosis often has no symptoms, but if you feel you may have been at risk, discuss it with your GP or midwife or obstetrician. Treatment is available if you have contracted it.

Many cold meats, such as salami, Parma ham, chorizo and pepperoni, are not cooked, they are just cured and fermented. This means that there’s a risk they contain toxoplasmosis. It’s best to check the instructions on the pack to see whether the product is ready to eat or needs cooking first.

For ready-to-eat meats, you can reduce any risk by putting then in your freezer compartment of your fridge for four days at home before you eat them. Freezing kills most parasites and makes the meat safer to eat.
If you’re planning to cook the meat (for instance, pepperoni on pizza), then you don’t need to freeze it first.
If you’re eating out in a restaurant, café etc that sells cold cured or fermented meats, then they may not have been frozen. If you’re concerned, just avoid eating it.

Pre-packed meat
Pre-packed ham and corned beef are safe to eat while you are pregnant. Information in other countries may suggest that you avoid pre-packed meats while pregnant, but this is not the advice in the UK.
Liver can harm your unborn, products such as liver pâté, liver sausage or haggis due to these products containing lot of vitamin A. Too much vitamin A can harm your baby.
Game such as pheasant etc are best avoided due to these have been shot with lead pellets, as these may contain higher levels of lead. Venison and other large game sold in supermarkets is usually farmed and contains no or very low levels of lead. If you’re unsure, do not eat.

Cheese to avoid!
Don’t eat cheeses with a white rind which are mentioned below
This includes mould-ripened soft goats’ cheese, such as chevre. They can only be eaten if they have been cooked
Soft blue cheeses
Soft blue-veined cheeses such as the following should be avoid when pregnant
Danish blue
Once again these are only safe to eat when pregnant cheeses are only safe if they’ve been cooked.
The reason to avoid some soft cheeses during pregnancy is because they are less acidic than hard cheeses and contain more moisture, which means they can be an ideal environment for harmful bacteria, such as listeria, to grow in.
Although infection is not common, it is important to take special precautions in pregnancy, because even a mild form of the illness in women who are pregnant can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth .

Safe Cheeses to eat during pregnancy
All hard cheeses are safe during pregnancy
Hard cheeses as listed below are safe to eat
If any of the above are made with unpasteurized milk, they are still safe to eat. Hard cheeses don’t contain as much moisture as soft cheeses, so less likely for bacteria to grow in them. Hard cheese can contain listeria, but the risk is considered to be very low.
Soft cheeses that are safe!
Other than mould-ripened soft cheeses, all other soft types of cheese are OK to eat, providing they’re made from pasteurized milk. These include:
• cottage cheese
• mozzarella
• feta
• cream cheese
• paneer
• ricotta
• halloumi
• goats’ cheese
• processed cheeses, such as cheese spreads

Avoid all types of pâté, including vegetable pâtés, as they can contain listeria.

The following advice has now been changed, due to the latest research shows no clear evidence that eating peanuts can increase the chances of your child developing a peanut allergy if you eat then while you are pregnant
You can eat peanuts or food containing peanuts (such as peanut butter) during pregnancy, unless you are allergic to them, or a health professional advises you not to.
You may have heard that peanuts should be avoided during pregnancy. This is because the government previously advised women to avoid eating peanuts if there was a history of allergy (such as asthma, eczema, hay fever and food allergy) in their child’s immediate family.

Next week we will bring you part 2 of more foods to avoid or that are safe to take during pregnancy.


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