viernes, 26 de julio de 2013

Food you should avoid during pregnancy (1º part)

You should take extra precautions to avoid food that could harm your baby, e.g. with pesticides or methylmercury, too much vitamin A or with a high risk of food poisoning.

We should be concerned specially about these infections: 

  • Toxoplasmosis. Animals are infected with this parasite by eating infected meat, by ingestion of feces of a cat that has itself recently been infected, or by transmission from mother to fetus.
  • Listeriosis. A rare but potenctially lethal food-borne infection.
  • Salmonellosis. This bacteria (Salmonella) can't pass through to your baby, but it's advisable to avoid it anyway).

These are the foods that you should avoid for their high risk of causing infections: 
  • Unpasteurized milk: Avoid raw milk from cows, sheep and goats. 
    • Only drink pasteurized, sterilised or UHT milk. 
    • It's safe to eat any kind of yoghurt, fromage frais, soured cream and creme fraiche.
  • Soft cheeses made from unpasteurized milk: Soft ripened cheeses such as Brie, Camembert or Cambozola; or blue-veined cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Roquefort, Stilton, Blue Brie or Danish Blue. 
    • It is safe to eat hard cheeses such as Swiss, Parmesan, Mozzarella, Gruyere, Gouda, Cheddar, Babybel. 
    • It's also safe to eat soft and processed cheeses such as Mascarpone, Philadelphia, Ricotta, Quark, spread or Cottage cheese.
    • If you''re not sure you can check the label to know if it's made from pasteurized milk.
  • Undercooked eggs: The white and the yolk must be firm. Avoid also food containing raw eggs such as homemade mayonnaise or mousses. 
    • Commercially prepared food, made with pasteurised eggs are safe to eat (you can eat industrial mayonnaise).
    • Make eggnog with a pasteurized egg product or buy pasteurized eggnog.
  • Undercooked meat: Cook thoroughly the meat and all meat products until it is well done so that the juices run clear.
    • Even if the label says that the meat is pre-cooked, reheat the meat to steaming hot (sausages, burgers, luncheon meats, cold cuts, and other deli-style meat and poultry).
    • If you are not to cook with very high temperature de cold cults such as ham, DON'T EAT IT.
  • Undercooked fish: Avoid sushi or any other fish that is not cooked with high temperature.
  • Smoked meat or seafood: Refrigerated smoked meat, fish or seafood is not safe unless it has been cooked at a very high temperature.
  • Shellfish: You shouldn't eat it unless you cook it very well.
    • If you want to eat prawns for example, buy them from a reputable shop, pre-packaged and date-stamped. Make sure they have been thoroughly cooked or eat them in a trustworthy restaurant. 
    • Never suck or use the head of the shrimps because they are very contaminated with Cadmium. This is another reason why you shouldn't eat seafood very often.
  • Pate: Avoid any type of pate unless it is tinned. Anyway apart from the possible infections I'd avoid it because the liver is the organ which filter and get rid of the contaminants, so it may have unwanted substances, plus it's too high in vitamin A which in excess can harm your baby.
  • Raw dough or cake batter: Bake the cookies and cake. And don't lick the spoon!
  • Unpasteurized juice or cider (including fresh squeezed): Drink only pasteurized juice.
    • You can have it if you boil it for at least one minute before drinking.
  • Avoid soft-whip ice cream from machines and homemade ice cream made from unpasteurized eggs. 
    • Make it with a pasteurized egg product safer by adding the eggs to the amount of liquid called for in the recipe, then heat the mixture thoroughly.
  • Salads made in a store, such as chicken or seafood salad.
    • Make salads at home, following the food safety basics: clean, separate, cook, and refrigerate.
  • Raw sprouts (alfalfa, radish...): They need to be well cooked.
In the next posts I'll write about the foods you should avoid for having too much concentration of heavy metals such as methylmercury, cadmium or lead. (click here) or because they have a large amount of vitamin A which in excess can cause malformations in your baby (click here).

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