I’ve heard I should avoid certain foods while I’m pregnant. Is that true?

Pregnancy causes many changes in your body, including changes to your body’s defense system. Have you heard that you may be at higher risk of getting sick during pregnancy? Or that there are some foods you shouldn’t eat? During pregnancy your body reacts differently to germs in order to protect you and your baby, so it’s important to be cautious, but don’t worry as there are easy ways to stay safe.

Germs are everywhere, but not all germs make us sick. Certain germs can make you sick in pregnancy that wouldn’t make you sick if you weren’t pregnant. One example is a germ called listeria that can be found in certain foods in our refrigerator. Here are 4 ways to keep you and your baby safe:

  1. If you drink milk and eat cheese, look for the word “PASTEURIZED” or “MADE WITH PASTEURIZED MILK” on the food label. Soft cheeses are safe to eat if they are made with pasteurized milk. Most dairy foods we eat are pasteurized, but not all. The term pasteurized means the food or drink was heated to a high temperature or heated for a long time to kill bad germs. It is often done to milk and milk products, but also other foods such as juice, spices and some eggs. All dairy foods in your food shares are made from pasteurized milk.
  2. Keep you cold foods in the refrigerator, instead of at room temperature, as much as possible. Germs can grow quickly in foods, and food left out for over 2 hours should be thrown away.
  3. Deli meat, lunch meat and hot dogs should be heated until they are steaming before eating to kill the germs.
  4. During pregnancy, it’s best to not eat meat spreads (pates) or uncooked smoked seafood.

Follow these rules and you’ll keep yourself and your baby safe. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to your Fresh Rx Nutrition Team!

For more information about this visit fda.gov

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