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Safer Eating In Pregnancy

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#51 heffalumpsnwoozles

Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:40 AM

Ok, I've been avoiding pretty much everything I should, and buying hard cheeses, instead of my favourite soft and semi-softs,  because they're a green light food. And now THIS!

Hard cheese range recalled after Listeria found.


#52 KoalaTeeTime

Posted 17 January 2014 - 09:53 AM

What is the scientific/medical explanation or reason that soft cheeses are 'worse' than hard cheese for Listeria contamination?

I read a lot of advice from the USA that it's only because soft cheeses are often made from unpasteurised milk that there is a problem. Plenty of American women believe that pasteurised soft cheese is fine and they eat it no problems.

So this is the second case of Listeria being found in Australian cheese in two years (almost the exact same time as the last one, I think?). So does anybody else think the recommendation should change to ALL cheeses having the same (low) risk, or will there be more examples where foods which are supposed to be 'safe' turn out to have a similar risk as those in the 'unsafe' category?!

#53 nickyAB

Posted 21 March 2014 - 07:22 PM

bumping up as this is consuming me, it is incredibly hard to know what to eat. I'm  very new to this..

How are packaged salads not OK from the shops if you wash them before you eat them? it's basically impossible to find rocket or cos lettuce on its own.

I have been eating those salad leave bags (spinach, rocket) but making sure I wash them well and dry them and then eat them straight away.

i am absolutely confused and not sure on what to eat. i'm also a vegetarian (but i do eat fish, which isn't safe either) and i'm really struggling.

#54 stephanielon

Posted 25 March 2014 - 10:38 PM

Excellent tips , thanks .. i leave you some recipes for gestational diabetes women . hope you will like it :) http://gestationaldi...abetes-recipes/

#55 RockChick22

Posted 08 April 2014 - 09:30 PM

Nicky, I am wondering the same thing. It is so hard to buy rocket or spinach not in a bag, so if I wash it, is it ok?

Also wondering about salad dressings, if it has egg in it, but it is store bought, is that ok?

Can I put leftovers in the freezer and eat after a few days, or do I really have to eat all leftovers within 24 hours? That's hard for me - I tend to cook big batches and eat over long periods of time!

And how do I eat like this around others without them guessing?? That's a tough one, especially eating out or at other's houses!

I am thinking of asking for a referral to a dietician as I am worried about all this. Has anyone done that?

Would really appreciate anyone's thoughts on these questions.

#56 nickyAB

Posted 09 April 2014 - 08:05 AM

Rock chick I can give you my answers but you can also called the mothersafe hotline if you want further confirmation. However they are very over the top and of the belief that if it hasn't been trailed during pregnancy before in Au they recommend against it. Which is just about every damn thing.

I could have written your post myself! I am waiting until I see my ob and I will also ask for a referral to a dietician because I don't want to gain weight eating  cooked crap for nine months just because it's what's only perceived safe.

- as far as I know anything long life store bought is safe. This includes eggs and milk stuff because it's pasteurised and had preservatives so it's not raw technically. But double check.

I cook and eat left overs that are up to three days old. I don't eat meat though. I just make sure it's well reheated and piping hot ( I'm beginning to hate that expression!)

I think you can freeze your left overs if they have meat and this will make them safer.

Eating around other people like this is really hard. I've tried to avoid going out but this raises more flags. Try just ordering cooked food and ask for no side salads or baked potatoes instead or fake a gastro bug and order something plain! Brunch is always a good idea.

Am going to a friends house next week and told her I'm not well so I can't eat a lot of fresh food. Not a total lie as I was sick with a gastro bug for a week and ended up in hospital. All better now though.

Just try not to stress as much as you can.

Hope this helps!!

#57 merleauponty

Posted 09 April 2014 - 08:42 AM

I asked my GP about the bags of salad leaves. Every week I wash and dry a bag of baby spinach and keep it sealed in the fridge for salads and sandwiches.
She said no one had asked her that question but she thought it was fine.
It makes sense - I don't see how a bag of salad leaves is any different from any other veg, as long as you wash well it yourself.

#58 nickyAB

Posted 09 April 2014 - 09:20 AM

yes I forgot to add I buy all my salads in bags because I don't have time to peel and cut lettuce. Plus all those lettuce heads are usually full of dirt and worms.

I just make sure I wash them really well. Actually there was an article in the NYTImes about washing veggies properly to get rid of pesticides (which my dr said are quite dangerous for everyone!) and I soak my salad in a one part white vinegar three part water solution to make sure it's cleaned really well.

Vinegar is a natural disinfectant so it works really well.

I can't see how getting lettuce in a bag and washing it is any different to washing a head of lettuce.

#59 Samntha21

Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:42 PM

View PostNut, on 10 November 2010 - 02:20 PM, said:


The information contained within this post is taken from the  NSW Food Authority Website. These are not recommendations written by EB and any  choices you make in regard to food consumption are your own. This is only here to help as a guide line. Should  you require more information, speak to your health care provider. You can view  the full PDF file HERE or look at the NSW Food Authority Website.

What is Listeria?

Listeria is a type of bacteria found in some foods which causes a serious infection called listeriosis. It can take up to six weeks for the flu-like symptoms to occur and if transmitted to your unborn baby can lead to miscarriage, infection of your newborn and stillbirth. The best way to avoid this is through hygienic preparation, storing and handling of food. Ideally, you should eat only freshly cooked food and well-washed, (freshly prepared) fruit and vegetables. Leftovers can be eaten if they are refrigerated promptly and
kept no longer than a day.

These mostly chilled, ready to eat foods should be  avoided altogether:

• Soft and semi-soft cheese (OK if cooked)

• Cold cooked chicken

• Cold processed meats

• Prepared salads

• Raw seafood

• Soft serve ice-cream

• Unpasteurised dairy products

• Paté


Salmonella can cause nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps,  diarrhoea, fever and headache. Pregnant women are not at an increased risk of  contracting salmonellosis, but in rare cases it may trigger miscarriage.

So it’s advisable to avoid foods that contain raw egg and  always cook meat, chicken and eggs thoroughly.

In addition, the  NSW Food Authority recommends that pregnant women do not eat any type of sprout  (including alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, onion sprouts, sunflower sprouts,  clover sprouts, radish sprouts, snowpea sprouts, mung beans and soybeans) either  raw or lightly cooked.

Other food risks


Toxoplasmosis while uncommon in pregnant women can occur if  you eat the garden. It is particularly important to avoid  toxoplasmosis during pregnancy undercooked meats, or unwashed fruit and vegetables  (particularly from gardens with household cats). Most commonly, however, infection is  caused by touching cat and dog faeces when cleaning the kitty litter tray or  contaminated soil in because it can lead to brain damage or blindness in your  unborn child.

Tips for avoiding toxoplasmosis:

• Don’t eat undercooked or raw meat

• Don’t drink unpasteurised goat’s milk

• Don’t handle cat litter

• When gardening wear gloves

• Always wash your hands after

touching animals

Mercury in fish

Fish are rich in protein and minerals, low in saturated fat,  and contain Omega 3 Although it’s really  important to eat fish during pregnancy and breastfeeding, you need to be careful  about which fish you choose. That’s because some fish may contain mercury levels  that may harm an unborn baby or young child’s developing nervous system. fatty acids. Omega 3 fatty acids are important for the  development of the central nervous system in babies, before and after they are born.

The following table will  help you safely include fish as an important part of a balanced diet.

Eat 2-3 serves per week of  small fish. Fish should be small enough to fit on a plate.

Examples: Mackerel, Silver  Warehou, Bream, Snapper, Trevally, Whiting, Flathead,

Kingfish, canned Tuna  & Salmon, Herrings, Sardines, shellfish, Lobster, Octopus


1 serve per fortnight of  Shark (Flake) or Billfish (Broadbill, Swordfish and Marlin)

and no other fish that  fortnight


1 serve per week of  Catfish or Orange Roughy (Deep Sea Perch)

and no other fish that  week

Also watch out for…


Drinking alcohol during  pregnancy can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, premature birth

or your baby could be born  with foetal alcohol syndrome (slow growth before and

after birth, and mental  disabilities). As it is not known whether there is a safe level of

drinking during pregnancy  the National Health and Medical Research Council advises

women that it is best not  to drink during pregnancy.


Small amounts of caffeine  are safe during pregnancy but excessive volumes may increase

the risk of miscarriage  and premature birth. Caffeine is in coffee, tea, chocolate and

cola (and some other soft  drinks). NSW Health recommends that pregnant women limit

themselves to 200mg of  caffeine daily. That is 2 cups of ground coffee or 2 1/2 cups

instant coffee, 4 cups  medium-strength tea, 4 cups cocoa/hot chocolate or 6 cups of cola.


Smoking is dangerous for  your baby. Smoking increases the risk of premature birth,

low birth weight,  respiratory problems and SIDS. There is no safe level of smoking.

For help to quit smoking  call the Quitline on 131848.

Safer Eating In Pregnancy

Red = Don't Eat

Orange  = Eat with caution

Green = OK

Meat,  Poultry and Seafood

Processed Meats - Ham, salami, luncheon, chicken  meat etc. - Do not eat unless fully cooked.

Raw meat - Any raw  meat, raw chicken or other poultry, beef, pork etc. - Don’t eat

Poultry - Cold  chicken or turkey e.g. used in sandwich bars - Don’t eat

Hot take-away chicken - Purchase freshly cooked,  use immediately, store leftovers in fridge and use within a day of cooking

Home cooked Chicken - Ensure chicken is cooked thoroughly, use immediately  �" store any leftovers in fridge and use within a day of cooking.

Paté-  Refrigerated  paté or meat spreads - Don’t eat

Seafood - Raw seafood  Don’t eat

Ready-to-eat chilled peeled prawns - Don’t eat

Cooked fish and seafood - Cook until steaming hot, eat while hot, store  leftovers in the fridge and use within a day of cooking

Sushi Store-bought - Don’t eat

Home-made - Don’t use raw meat or seafood, eat immediately

Cooked meats - Beef,  pork, chicken, mince - Cook thoroughly,  eat while hot

Dairy  and Eggs

Cheese Soft and semi-soft cheese - brie,  camembert, ricotta, fetta, blue etc. - Don’t eat unless in a fully  cooked dish e.g. spinach and ricotta canneloni

Processed cheese - cheese spreads, cottage  cheese, cream cheese etc. - Store in the fridge, eat within two days of opening  pack

Hard cheese-  e.g. cheddar, tasty cheese - Store in the fridge

Ice cream Soft serve - Don’t eat

Packaged  frozen ice cream - Keep and eat frozen

Unpasturised  Milk - Don’t drink or use

Pasteurised Milk- Keep  refrigerated, drink within ‘use by’ date

Other dairy - Cream,  yoghurt - Check ‘best before’ or ‘use by’ date, keep refrigerated

Custard - Don’t eat unless heated until steaming hot

Eggs - Cook  thoroughly

Vegetable & fruit  Salads

Pre-prepared or pre-packaged  - salads, including fruit salad e.g. from salad bars, smorgasboards  - Don’t eat

Home-made - Wash and dry salad ingredients well just before making  and eating salads, store any leftover salads in fridge and use within a day of  preparation

Fruit - Whole  fresh fruits Wash and dry well before eating

Vegetables and herbs

Fresh vegetables and herbs  - Wash and dry  well just before eating raw or wash before cooking

Frozen vegetables - Cook; don’t eat uncooked

Bean  sprouts - Alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, onion sprouts, sunflower sprouts,  clover sprouts, radish sprouts, snowpea sprouts, mung beans and soybeans - Don’t  eat raw or lightly cooked

Other foods

Leftovers  - Cooked foods Store leftovers covered in the fridge, eat within a  day and always reheat until steaming hot

Canned  foods - Tinned fruit, vegetables, fish etc. - Store unused portions in  the fridge in clean, sealed containers and use within a day

Stuffing  - Stuffing from chicken or poultry - Don’t eat unless cooked  separately and eat hot

Hummus - Store-bought  or home-made Store in fridge, eat within 2 days of opening/making

Note: Listerosis is killed by heat. You can eat pretty much anything as long as it's cooked thoroughly right through. If you have any concerns about something you have eaten or if you think you may have listeriosis, please contact your doctor.

Thanks for sharing this. :)

#60 Bubba2Woohoo

Posted 16 June 2014 - 10:04 PM

I think it is all common sense!

#61 kelstar300

Posted 10 September 2014 - 11:05 AM

I've only recently found out I'm pregnant and am struggling with food court lunch options. I try and make something from home to bring in as often as possible but still find myself in the food court a few times a week. Looking around I'm really struggling to find suitable healthy options. Although I've been craving hot chips, I really don't want that to be the basis of my diet for the next 7 months.

Any good food court suggestions you can share?

#62 tinkerbell86

Posted 01 October 2014 - 12:05 PM

I also really struggle with the food issue. Some things i have eaten are -
Toasted vegetarian foccacia
Fried rice (had this with chicken i cooked at home and heated it all at work)
Baked potato
Spinach and ricotta pastry (heated well due to ricotta)
Thai at a place i trust (actually a local restaurant not food court) and then heat it up again  when i get back to work

I think you could probably order a quiche or vegie frittata if its heated well.

#63 OrganisedChaos

Posted 19 October 2014 - 01:43 PM

Interesting info ladies, thank you.

#64 Tinkabelle5

Posted 21 February 2015 - 12:37 PM

Help! Daniel is away, we just got a new kitten and Ive now found out I have a little fairy in my tummy☺️ How can I safely deal with the cat litter?

#65 Apryl

Posted 23 May 2015 - 09:48 PM

Some of the best information I've ever read on safer eating during pregnancy. Thanks for sharing.

#66 Pip_longstockings

Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:18 PM

View PostTinkabelle5, on 21 February 2015 - 12:37 PM, said:

Help! Daniel is away, we just got a new kitten and Ive now found out I have a little fairy in my tummy☺️ How can I safely deal with the cat litter?

Put gloves on, use a scoop and wash hands afterwards.

#67 Pip_longstockings

Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:32 PM

I actually dispair of articles like this. Its great to tell women what they can not eat but they leave so much of it open to interpretation and offer no guidelines for what people can replace these foods with.

I have known people just to eat junk food the entire pregnancy as it was just too hard; and really that is also just as bad.

For people who have eaten a "forbidden" food. You have not damaged your baby! Eating this food gives you a very small chance of contracting listeria and it is not the food that is damaging but the very small chance of getting listeria.

In food courts, this time of year, try eating a hot soup, even heat it up in office, a good Mexican is also a great option, quesadillas which are freshly cooked and hot! Pizza is great too, you can eat most things put through a pizza oven as it is so hot including ham or pepperoni, not sure about feta? Just make sure you choose somewhere repetuable and make sure it is made fresh in front of you.

Bagged salad, I have heard, is OK but you need to wash it. Salad bars not so good as you don't know if the salad is washed or how long it has been sitting there.

Finally, if you are going out to a nice restaurant, tell them your pregnant and they are normally pretty good at guiding you.

#68 Mileyy333

Posted 03 July 2015 - 06:57 PM

As i love sea food alot...I would recommend you to atleast try some..Yes — in moderation. Seafood is an excellent source of nutrients, but it can contain contaminants (a fact that's received a lot of alarming attention in the press recently). These chemicals include methyl mercury and, to a lesser extent, dioxins, PCBs, and pesticides. When eaten in amounts higher than those found in most commercially sold seafood, these contaminants have been linked to developmental delays in children who were exposed to them before birth.
                Even so, there's no reason to ban seafood from your diet — though it's wise to avoid large and predatory fish (those that feed on other contaminated fish), which tend to contain the highest levels of pollutants — specifically shark, king mackerel, swordfish, and tilefish.

Definitely go for it...Its really good..But ofcourse in a limit...!

#69 Ababy82

Posted 27 July 2015 - 06:45 PM

I have eaten an unwashed pear.  I just completely forgot to wash it before just munching into it and now I am very very worried I might have caught Listeriosis or Toxoplasmosis.  I'm 21 weeks pregnant.  I've read that these infections do not even mostly cause symptoms, so I wouldn't know if I had them, but in the meantime my baby could be being affected in there!  I feel so scared about it.
Has anyone else forgot to wash a piece of fruit from the supermarket that has been on the bench for a few days and had no problems at all?

#70 ~Jodama_Feral~

Posted 27 July 2015 - 06:54 PM

View PostAbaby82, on 27 July 2015 - 06:45 PM, said:

I have eaten an unwashed pear.  I just completely forgot to wash it before just munching into it and now I am very very worried I might have caught Listeriosis or Toxoplasmosis.  I'm 21 weeks pregnant.  I've read that these infections do not even mostly cause symptoms, so I wouldn't know if I had them, but in the meantime my baby could be being affected in there!  I feel so scared about it.
Has anyone else forgot to wash a piece of fruit from the supermarket that has been on the bench for a few days and had no problems at all?

Honestly 3 pregnancies and I never washed any of the fruit I ate. I dont even think it was a thing. I am sure you and your baby are just fine.

#71 kalwantstobeamum

Posted 01 August 2015 - 09:30 AM

So I spose that means no soybeans= no soy milk or soya products? That's interesting... Thanks for posting.

#72 Ababy82

Posted 01 August 2015 - 01:13 PM

Gosh, I've been drinking soy milk the whole time!!

#73 blimkybill

Posted 01 August 2015 - 01:26 PM

View Postkalwantstobeamum, on 01 August 2015 - 09:30 AM, said:

So I spose that means no soybeans= no soy milk or soya products? That's interesting... Thanks for posting.
I am pretty sure it just says no sprouted soy beans, not no soybeans and soy products in general.

#74 Ababy82

Posted 02 August 2015 - 10:16 PM

View PostNut, on 04 March 2011 - 11:41 AM, said:

Meats - Listeria is one of the only bacteria that thrives in the fridge and will grow faster in acold environment. The recommendation is to only eat meat HOT. Suggests that home cooked cold meats is not a go. You can cook it, cool it quickly in the fridge for a few minutes and then eat it, but should not eat it after it's been sitting for a while, refrigerated or not.

I just ate chicken that had been home cooked in hot oven.  I usually eat a bit later.  I came up to get mine later and find  Mum left it on the bench uncovered for about half an hour after cooking before it was put in the fridge.  I then put it into the fridge for about another 20 mins, then reheated it in microwave on high for 50 seconds.  I don't know what the temperature of it ended up as... but yes I did eat a bit of it after reheating.
What is classified as "sitting for a while"?  How long is a while?  Is that approximate hour (30 mins on the bench and 20 mins in the fridge) far too long? Or do we mean more like 2 hours is too long?

Edited by Ababy82, 03 August 2015 - 09:58 AM.

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