Stay Safe During Pregnancy - Avoid Soft Cheese During Pregnancy.

In the summer it's common to see Feta and other cheese in many dishes, even summer salads. However, if you're...
In the summer it's common to see Feta and other cheese in many dishes, even summer salads. However, if you're pregnant, you may want to rethink some types of cheese products. Soft, unpasteurized cheeses can pose a danger to your unborn baby. The soft cheeses include cheese products such as feta, Brie, Camembert and goat cheese. All of these may contain Listeria. Listeria is a bacteria and while it's not overly dangerious for adults it is very dangerious for unborn babies. In adults, exposure to Listeria usually only causes mild flu-like symptoms (usually - see below for other risks). Babies exposed to Listeria may develop Listeriosis, an infection that may cause miscarriage, premature birth, or severe illness or death of a newborn. AVOID LISTERIA:
  • Stay away from any food product made with unpasteurized milk.
  • The label on any cheese you choose should state clearly, "pasteurized."
  • Experts agree that cheeses, even most soft cheeses, when made with pasteurized milk are safe to eat during pregnancy.
  • Cheese is not the only risk - Listeria can be found in many food items such as hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats unless they are properly reheated to steaming ( or 160 degrees F.). Deli meats, refrigerated pates or meat spreads and refrigerated smoked seafood are other risky food items.
  • Practice safe food handling to avoid infection.
KNOW THE SIGNS OF LISTERIA: According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC), 2,500 people each year become seriously ill due to Listeria and about 500 of these people will die. Pregnant women account for 27% of these cases. This means that if you're preggers you're 20 times more likely to become infected with the Listeria bacteria. Symptoms of listeriosis usually show up 2-30 days after exposure. You may experience headaches, muscle aches, fever, nausea, and vomiting. If the infection spreads you'll experience a stiff neck, disorientation, or convulsions. If you're having these symptoms that means your baby may be exposed as well. You should always seek medical attention if you have any of the above symptoms during pregnancy - just to be on the safe side. Listeria infections are most common during the third trimester. If you do have Listeriosis you'll be treated with a simple antibiotic that will prevent a worse infection from spreading to your baby.

Tags: bacteria food bacteria food prep food safety food safety during pregnancy listeria safe food safely prepare food soft cheese in pregnancy wash hands

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