Canadian government gives food safety advise to pregnant women
Posted: March 25th, 2010 - 5:03pm by Rob Mancini
The Canadian government is focusing on the importance of food safety for pregnant women.
Health Canada and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency are reminding women who are pregnant of the importance of food safety.
During pregnancy, both woman and unborn child are at an increased risk for foodborne illness. This is because a woman's immune system is weakened during pregnancy, making it harder to fight off infections. The unborn baby's immune system is also not developed enough to fight off harmful foodborne bacteria. For both mother and baby, foodborne illness can cause serious health problems.
It's estimated that there are approximately 11 million cases of foodborne illnesses in Canada every year. Many of these illnesses could be prevented by following proper food handling and preparation techniques.
While it's always important for Canadians to follow proper food safety steps, it's especially important for women to pay close attention to food safety during pregnancy. To protect themselves and their unborn baby, pregnant women should follow the four key steps to food safety: Cook; Clean; Chill and Separate.
Pregnant women should also pay close attention to what they are eating during their pregnancy. Some foods are at a higher risk for foodborne illness than others.
Make sure to cook hot dogs and deli meats until they are steaming hot before eating them
Don't eat raw or undercooked meat, poultry and seafood
Avoid refrigerated smoked fish or seafood
Avoid unpasteurized juice, cider and milk
Avoid soft and semi-soft cheeses made from raw or unpasteurized milk
Avoid refrigerated pâtés and meat spreads.
Avoid uncooked foods made from raw or unpasteurized eggs.
My wife and I are expecting our first child and when it comes to foods to avoid during pregnancy, my radar is in full gear. I just finished writing a paper, more like an assignment, on the risks of consuming raw sprouts. Sprouts are everywhere and mixed into anything so half of the time one doesn’t even know they are eating them, considered a stealth food.
Pathogens frequently isolated from raw sprouts include Salmonella, Escherichia coli 0157:H7, Bacillus cereus, Listeria monocytogenes, Yersinia enterocolitica, and Shigella species. Since it is impossible to guarantee a pathogen free sprout product, avoidance is the best measure. Sprouts are mentioned in the list, just have to dig further.