You might already know a bit about pregnancy food safety, but it never hurts to revisit it. The reason food safety and hygiene is extra important now is because some illnesses during pregnancy can have a major effect on your unborn baby.
Listeria likes certain types of food
The reason we are told to watch out for Listeria is because it’s a fairly common type of bacteria. It doesn’t usually cause problems in normal healthy people, but during pregnancy it can make you and your unborn baby very sick.
Although it sounds scary, Listeria infections aren’t overly common, it’s just that the effects are very serious for pregnant women and babies. Practising good hygiene and being wary of foods that have a higher risk of Listeria should see you through, happy and healthy.
There are several higher risk foods to avoid when pregnant.
Thorough cooking is your best friend
A simple pregnancy food safety tip is to make sure your meals are well cooked until piping hot. This should kill off bacteria like Listeria and Salmonella, as well any parasites that may exist. Eggs can easily harbour these nasties – to make them into a safer snack, cook the yolks and whites until they’re solid. Think about ready-made meals too, these should be served up piping hot all the way through.
One tool for one job in the kitchen
Remember cross contamination – that basic rule you’ve heard about for when you’re preparing food? Make sure you use separate knives and chopping boards for meat and your other ingredients, or wash them thoroughly in between use. Some bacteria can be passed from meat to other foods and may not be killed off during the cooking process.
Love that soap
Washing your hands before handling or preparing any food is essential to food safety. Simple, good hygiene is important everywhere – not just in the kitchen! Make sure you have plenty of clean hand towels so you don’t contaminate your hands when you dry them.