When you’re pregnant, maintaining good health with a proper diet is of the utmost importance. You might be surprised to hear some of your favorite foods might actually be harmful to you and your baby, as they contain a dangerous bacteria called listeria.
Listeria can be found in refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods (meat, poultry, seafood, unpasteurized dairy products or foods made with unpasteurized dairy products) and in the soil. When eaten, it may cause listeriosis, an illness to which pregnant women and their unborn children are very susceptible.
Foods to Stay Away From
- Hot dogs and luncheon meats, unless they are reheated until steaming hot
- Soft cheeses like feta, brie, camembert, blue-veined cheeses, queso blanco, queso fresco or panela, unless they are made with PASTEURIZED milk
- Refrigerated pâté or meat spreads
- Refrigerated smoked seafood, unless it is in a cooked dish such as a casserole
- Refrigerated smoked seafood such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna or mackerel, which are most often labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked” or “jerky” (these types of fish are found in the refrigerator section of grocery stores and delis)
- Unpasteurized (raw) milk or foods that contain unpasteurized milk
Tips on Preventing Listeria
- Your refrigerator should register 40 degrees (F) or below and your freezer 0 degree (F). Place a refrigerator thermometer and check the temperature periodically.
- Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food and leftovers within two hours of eating or preparation. Follow the two-hour rule: discard food that is left out at room temperature for longer than two hours.
- When temperatures are above 90 degrees (F), discard food after one hour. Use ready-to-eat, perishable foods, such as dairy, meat, poultry, seafood and produce, as soon as possible.
BMH’s Baby University offers classes to prepare you for your baby’s arrival. To learn more, click here or call 843-522-5570.