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Avoid high risk foods during pregnancy

Pregnant moms are at risk for foodborne illness because their immune system is compromised. As you crave for different kinds of foods, be aware that some harmful foodborne bacteria can harm you and your unborn child. Foodborne illness during pregnancy can cause serious health problems, miscarriage, premature delivery or even still birth. Foodborne illness either makes mom feel very sick or it could be so mild that mom doesn't even feel any symptoms. Harmful foodborne microorganisms can cross the placenta and cause harm to the developing fetus. As a result, the infected fetus or newborn can experience a wide range of health problems - or even death.

Do you know that pregnant moms are 10 times more likely to get Listeriosis? Read on to find out more about how to avoid the high risk foods and choose your food safer food options

Some high risk foods to avoid are:

- raw seafood like sashimi, oysters and other shellfish, smoked salmon, trout etc...

- pre-prepared deli salads like egg or pasta salads

- raw sprouts like Alafalfa

- partially cooked meat and poultry like medium/rare steak, cold sausages, Paté or smoked meat

- soft cheese like Feta, Brie, Camembert or Blue cheese

- under cooked eggs or sauces and desserts that contains raw egg like Bearnaise sauce on your Eggs Benedict, chocolate lava cake, lemon meringue pie, onsen, soft or poached eggs.

- unpasteurized dairy like fresh goat milk or home made cheese

Good to know tips:

- make sure you cook your seafood and fish well. Cooked fish should flake easily and is firm to touch. It is recommended to cook fishes to at least 63 Degrees. If you want to enjoy your smoked salmon, cook it first.

- choose to enjoy salads at your trusted food establishments only. Salads that contain fully cooked eggs and dressed with balsamic, lemon juice or olive oil will be safer choices.

- ask for your meat dishes to be well done. it is recommended to cook meats to at least 71 degrees. You may have to avoid those Sunday roast station for the timing being as the meat is usually at a medium doneness and left standing in the buffet line. If you'll like to have some sausages or ham, please ensure it has been reheated until steaming hot.

- if you are a cheese platter fan, avoid the cold cuts and go for the hard cheeses like Cheddar, Emmenthal, aged Gouda and Gruyere.

- choose hot desserts like bread and butter pudding or Crème brulée over cold ones like chocolate mousse cakes and Tiramisu.

Lastly, there are a few cool tips to observe while you are preparing anf storing food at home.

- have different chopping boards for raw and cooked food

- ensure your refrigerator is at 40° F (4° C) or below and the freezer at 0° F (-18° C).

- store cooked food and raw food on separate shelves

- refrigerate or freeze prepared food within two hours of preparation. Discard food that's left out at room temperature for longer than two hours.

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