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Important Information on Food Poisoning for Pregnant Women

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I remember the early days of my first pregnancy. I probably felt like many of you feel right now; excited, and yet overwhelmed. There was a lot to learn, and quickly, about how to best nurture the little one growing inside of me.

Good nutrition is important when you are an expectant mother. And on WeeWelcome.ca we have tried to provide you with the best resources for knowing what to eat to fuel the growth of life…amazing, isn’t it?

Now we are here with a very important message. Perhaps more important than steering clear of too many gummy bears is the message to practice safe food handling.

Did you know? Expectant mothers are 20 times more likely to contract a type of food poisoning called Listeriosis when exposed to the listeria bacteria than another healthy adult? And that is not the only bacteria that poses a threat.

Health Canada has recently released some important information about how to protect yourself from food poisoning during pregnancy, which is a vulnerable time (your immune system is lowered, you can’t fight off the bad bacteria as easily).

Food poisoning is entirely preventable. A pregnant woman is at increased risk of contracting food poisoning and of related health complications because of her weakened immune system.  Possible health complications that result from food poisoning can also affect her baby.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Safe Food Handling for Pregnant Women

Do

- Check the “Best Before Date” on all of the food you purchase. Don’t take chances, throw out expired foods.

- Refrigerate leftovers within 2 hours of cooking. That pan of spaghetti and meatballs left out overnight is not safe to eat.

- Select safer alternatives. For a complete list of foods to avoid when you are pregnant, visit Health Canada’s Food Safety for Pregnant Women

Don’t

- Buy cold or frozen food at the end of your shopping trip.and don’t let food sit in your car to spoil while you run other errands

- Never defrost raw meat at room temperature. Let it sit in a cold refrigerator until it has thawed before cooking.

- Buy bruised or damaged fruit. Select the right ones when you are the grocery store as bacteria can grow in damaged areas.

Pregnant women can reduce their risk of food poisoning by following some rules for the safe handling, storing, shopping for and preparing of foods (and by avoiding some high risk foods).

For more tips on the safe handling of food, visit Health Canada’s resource Food Safety for Pregnant Women. Don’t take chances, and if you aren’t sure what is and isn’t right to eat, or how to handle a food product talk to your doctor or public health unit. And always remember to stay on top of food recall notices. We all should, really.

This post is brought to you by Health Canada. However, all the opinions and language are my own and in no way do they reflect those of Health Canada.

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