There are 3 main dangers lurking in the food pregnant women eat. These things can cause serious illness or even death to you or your unborn baby.
- Listeria – a dangerous bacterium that can grow even in cold refrigerators.
- Mercury – a harmful metal found in high levels in some fish.
- Toxoplasma – a risky parasite found in undercooked meat and unwashed fruits and vegetables.
Food facts to help keep you and your baby healthy:
- DON’T eat raw or undercooked meat, poultry, fish or shellfish (sushi or sashimi).
- DON’T eat swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark.
- DON’T eat refrigerated smoked seafood like whitefish, salmon, and mackerel. These are usually labeled nova-style, lox, kippered, smoked, or jerky.
- DON’T eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads.
- DON’T eat hot dogs and luncheon meats — unless they’re reheated until steaming hot.
- DON’T eat soft cheeses like feta, brie, camembert, “blue-veined cheeses,” “queso blanco,” “queso fresco,” and Panela unless the label says they are pasteurized or made from pasteurized milk.
- DON’T drink raw or unpasteurized milk or juice or eat foods that contain unpasteurized milk.
- DON’T eat unwashed fruits and vegetables.
- DON’T eat raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean).
Source: U.S. Food and Drug Administration