Holiday Foods to Avoid While Pregnant
The holiday season is among us. This means we will soon be gathering with friends and family to celebrate Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year!
If you are expecting, this can be a great time to indulge in some delicious foods. But there are also some foods you can expect to find at a holiday table that may not be safe for an expectant mother to consume.
Side note: If you have some extra time over the holidays, I would highly recommend taking the online Milkology Breastfeeding course to prepare yourself for breastfeeding. I took it with my second daughter and SO wished I knew everything it taught for my first daughter. It would have saved me ALOT of frustration!
Refrigerated Foods Left Out
Meat and cheese trays can be a common food served at large gatherings, but they also tend to sit out for the duration of the event and come to room temperature. This poses a risk with hysteria, a harmful bacterium that can be found in refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods (think: meat, poultry, seafood, and unpasteurized dairy products). According to the FDA, expectant mothers should follow the two-hour rule: do not eat any foods that have been left our for more than two hours since prepared or removed from the fridge.
Who doesn’t love a glass of cider during the cold months? If you are expecting, you may need to skip it this year, unless the label clearly reads that it is pasteurized. The concern with unpasteurized cider is the risk for food-borne illnesses, including salmonella and E Coli.
Any raw or undercooked meats should be avoided during pregnancy. When it comes to the turkey, cook to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. (If you don’t have a meat thermometer, you can order a very inexpensive one here. It’s totally worth the peace of mind you will have!)Undercooked meats risk contamination with toxoplasmosis, and salmonella. Be sure to use a proper thermometer to ensure meat is cooked to an appropriate temperature before consuming.
Batters With Raw Egg
Chances are, over the holiday season, you will bake some sort of sweet item that may contain raw eggs. Avoid the temptation to lick the spoon. Raw eggs should be avoided during pregnancy. According to the American Pregnancy Association “raw eggs or any foods that contain raw eggs should be avoided because of the potential exposure to salmonella.” Other foods that could include raw eggs: Hollandaise sauces, home-made ice creams, home-made ceaser dressings and mayonnaise.
Soft cheeses such as brie, Camembert, Roquefort, feta, Gorgonzola, and Mexican style cheeses (queso blanco, quest fresco) should be avoided while pregnant unless the label clearly states that they are pasteurized. Instead, stick with the hard cheese options like mozzarella, cheddar and Swiss.