While you are pregnant
While you are pregnant it is important to make sure that you and your unborn
baby stay healthy. This will give you information on simple precautions you
can take to avoid infections from food and animals. Including advice on foods
which it would be wise not to eat during your pregnancy.
A healthy diet is also important when you are pregnant. You can get advice
on nutrition from your doctor, midwife or health visitor.
Don't become over-anxious about the possibility of catching the diseases described
here. Most of them are very rare, and it is unlikely that you or your unborn
baby will affected. Nevertheless, it is sensible to take the simple precautions
given in this booklet to reduce the risk to yourself and your baby.
This section gives advice on the preparation, cooking and eating of some everyday
foods. it also tells you which foods you should not eat. Always wash your
hands before and after preparing food.
You can enjoy hard cheeses such as cheddar. Cottage cheese, processed cheese
and cheese spreads, can all be eaten safely as well.
However, while you are pregnant it is wise to avoid all soft ripened cheeses
such as Camembert, Brie and similar blue-veined varieties. In the past, some
samples of these cheeses have contained high levels of Listeria bacteria,
which may harm your unborn child.
Sometimes it's not easy to tell the type of cheese, so it is best to check
the label. If you're not sure, play safe and don't eat it.
Some types of pâté may contain high levels of Listeria. To be on
the safe side, do not eat any type of pâté while you are pregnant.
Cooked-chilled meals and ready-to-eat poultry
Cooked-chilled meals are ready-cooked foods sold chilled (not frozen) for the
customer to eat either cold or reheated at home. Listeria have been found in
cooked-chilled meals and ready-to-eat poultry including plain roast chicken.
To be on the safe side, you should reheat these types of food thoroughly until
they are piping hot throughout rather than eat them cold or lukewarm.
Eggs may contain Salmonella bacteria which cause sickness and diarrhoea. While
you are pregnant, you should eat only eggs which are cooked until both the white
and the yolk are solid. Raw eggs, or foods containing them (such as mousses
and 'home-made' mayonnaise) should always be avoided.
Commercially produced products, such as bottled mayonnaise, are made with pasteurised
eggs. These may be eaten safely.
Some shops sell pasteurised egg products - either in liquid or dry form - for
use at home. These can be used safely in recipes that would otherwise require
the use of raw or partially cooked eggs. Once opened or made-up, these products
should be treated as fresh egg and used straight away or stored in a refrigerator
Preparing and cooking poultry, meat and meat products
Uncooked poultry and meat may be contaminated with bacteria which cause food
poisoning. These bacteria are destroyed when you cook food at high temperatures,
because heat kills bacteria. Raw meat may also contain Toxoptasma, an organism
which can, in rare cases, affect the unborn child. Again, this is destroyed
by thorough cooking.
Thoroughly wash your hands, and all work surfaces which have been in contact
with raw meat and poultry, after handling and preparation. Remember to cook
all poultry and meat, including burgers and sausages, so that the juices run
clear and there is no remaining blood or pinkness.
Do not drink raw milk from cows, sheep or goats. This milk has not been heat-treated