During pregnancy, women take care of themselves in many ways, but do you know that during pregnancy you also have to stop the consumption of certain foods, which can cause harm?
Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy
Some foods, when consumed during pregnancy, could put both the mother and the baby in harm’s way. Hence, take precautions with these foods during pregnancy:
1. Raw or Undercooked Eggs
Pregnant women must make sure their eggs are thoroughly cooked until the yolks and whites are solid. Thoroughly cooking the eggs helps prevent salmonella food poisoning in pregnant women.
Even though salmonella poisoning is unlikely to harm the fetus, it can give pregnant women a severe bout of vomiting and diarrhea.
However, if the eggs have been produced under a trustworthy food safety standard, they can be safe to consume. Eggs produced under food safety standards often come with a logo stamped on their shells.
Such eggs are considered safe for pregnant women to eat partially cooked or raw eggs because they are regarded as low risk for salmonella.
Hence, you can eat raw eggs or foods made with lightly cooked eggs such as mousses, soft boiled eggs, fresh mayonnaise, and soufflés, provided they are produced under a food safety standard.
However, if the eggs are not produced under a trustworthy food safety standard, make sure to cook them before consumption thoroughly. We also recommend that you thoroughly cook non-hen eggs like goose, duck, and quail eggs before eating.
2. Raw or Undercooked Meat
As long as you are pregnant, don’t consume raw or undercooked meat. Whether its steaks and meat joints cooked rare, undercooked meat exposes pregnant women to the risk of toxoplasmosis.
Make sure to cook all meat as well as poultry thoroughly till it’s steaming hot, and there is absolutely no trace of blood or pink – especially with pork, chicken, minced meat, and sausages. This means that even burgers should only have thoroughly cooked minced beef.
To further prevent the spread of harmful bugs associated with raw or undercooked meat, we recommend that you thoroughly wash all the utensils and surfaces after preparing raw meat.
Wash and dry your hands well after handling or touching raw meat. Raw and undercooked meat carries a parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. This parasite can also be found in soil, unpasteurized goat’s milk, untreated water, and cat poo.
When toxoplasmosis infection affects pregnant women, it puts her baby at risk. Furthermore, this infection doesn’t have symptoms, so if you feel at risk, make sure to discuss this with your GP, obstetrician, or midwife.
3. Cold Cured Meats
Most cold meats, like pepperoni, salami, chorizo, and prosciutto are not cooked; they are just fermented and cured. Hence, cold cured meats are at risk of containing toxoplasmosis-causing parasites.
We advise carefully reading the instructions on the package before consumption to see if the product needs cooking first of if it’s ready to eat.
If they are ready-to-eat, freeze cured or fermented meats for about four days before consumption to reduce any risks of parasites. Freezing will kill most parasites making the meat safe to eat.
However, if you plan to cook the meat, you don’t have to freeze it first. Avoid eating out in restaurants that serve cold cured or fermented meats because they are rarely frozen.
4. Liver and Game
Liver or liver-containing products such as liver pate, liver haggis or sausage, contain a lot of vitamin A. during pregnancy, too much vitamin A can potentially harm the baby.
It is also best to avoid eating game, primarily if it was shot with lead pellets as it may have higher levels of lead. Most venison and the large game sold in meat stores or supermarkets are framed and contain very low or no levels of lead; however, if you’re unsure, best to ask the retailer before purchase.