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Safer Eating In Pregnancy
66 replies to this topic
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?!
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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
Posted 12 June 2014 - 03:42 PM
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
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
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
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.
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?
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)
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.
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?
Posted 23 May 2015 - 09:48 PM
Some of the best information I've ever read on safer eating during pregnancy. Thanks for sharing.
Posted 23 May 2015 - 10:18 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?
Put gloves on, use a scoop and wash hands afterwards.
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.
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