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来自FDA的准妈妈安全饮食指南(Food Safety for Moms-To-Be)(上)
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发表时间:2011-09-12
更新时间:2011-09-12
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无意中看到这个FDA的关于准妈妈饮食安全的系列,觉得涉及不少细节问题,分两次贴出来供准妈妈们参考啊,祝JMs好孕!

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Welcome! We're glad you're here because foodborne illness is a serious health risk for pregnant women and their unborn babies. You'll find accurate, easy-to-understand information about foodborne illness.

At-A-Glance

Here you'll find top line points about food safety during pregnancy. It's a great reminder of ways to keep you and your baby safe!

Food Safety for Moms-to-Be All you need to know about food safety during pregnancy.

【What is foodborne illness?】

It's a sickness that occurs when people eat or drink harmful microorganisms (bacteria, parasites, viruses) or chemical contaminants found in some foods or drinking water.
Symptoms vary, but in general can include: stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headache, or body aches. Sometimes you may not feel sick, but whether you feel sick or not, you can still pass the illness to your unborn child without even knowing it.

【Why are pregnant women at high risk?】
●You and your growing fetus are at high risk from some foodborne illnesses because during pregnancy your immune system is weakened, which makes it harder for your body to fight off harmful foodborne microorganisms.
●Your unborn baby's immune system is not developed enough to fight off harmful foodborne microorganisms.
●For both mother and baby, foodborne illness can cause serious health problems - or even death.

【Tips for a Lifetime】
There are many bacteria that can cause foodborne illness, such as E. coli O157:H7 and Salmonella. Here are 4 Simple Steps you should follow to keep yourself and your baby healthy during pregnancy and beyond!

1. Clean
●Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap.
●Wash hands before and after handling food, and after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or handling pets.
●Wash cutting boards, dishes, utensils, and countertops with hot water and soap.
●Rinse raw fruits and vegetables thoroughly under running water.

2. Separate
●Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from ready-to-eat foods.
●If possible, use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and seafood and another one for fresh fruits and vegetables.
●Place cooked food on a clean plate. If cooked food is placed on an unwashed plate that held raw meat, poultry, or seafood, bacteria from the raw food could contaminate the cooked food.

3. Cook
●Cook foods thoroughly. Use a food thermometer to check the temperature. See the Apply the Heat (PDF | 20.3KB ) chart for the recommended cooking times for foods.
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/UCM109116.pdf
●Keep foods out of the Danger Zone: The range of temperatures at which bacteria can grow - usually between 40° F and 140° F (4° C and 60° C).
●2-Hour Rule: Discard foods left out at room temperature for more than two hours.

4. Chill
●Your refrigerator should register at 40° F (4° C) or below and the freezer at 0° F (-18° C). Place an appliance thermometer in the refrigerator, and check the temperature periodically.
●Refrigerate or freeze perishables (foods that can spoil or become contaminated by bacteria if left unrefrigerated).
●Use ready-to-eat, perishable foods (dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, produce) as soon as possible.

【3 Foodborne Risks for Pregnant Women】

As a mom-to-be, there are 3 specific foodborne risks that you need to be aware of. These risks can cause serious illness or death to you or your unborn child. Follow these steps to help ensure a healthy pregnancy.

1. Listeria
What it is:
A harmful bacterium that can grow at refrigerator temperatures where most other foodborne bacteria do not. It causes an illness called listeriosis.

Where it's found:
Refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods and unpasteurized milk and milk products.

How to prevent illness:
●Follow the 4 Simple Steps above.
●Do not eat hot dogs and luncheon meats - unless they're reheated until steaming hot.
●Do not eat soft cheese, such as Feta, Brie, Camembert, "blue-veined cheeses," "queso blanco," "queso fresco," and Panela - unless it's labeled as made with pasteurized milk. Check the label.
●Do not eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads.
●Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood - unless it's in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. (Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel, is most often labeled as "nova-style," "lox," "kippered," "smoked," or "jerky." These types of fish are found in the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens.)
●Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk or eat foods that contain unpasteurized milk.

2. Methylmercury
What it is:
A metal that can be found in certain fish. At high levels, it can be harmful to an unborn baby's developing nervous system.

Where it's found:
Large, long-lived fish, such as shark, tilefish, king mackerel, and swordfish.

How to prevent illness:
●Don't eat shark, tilefish, king mackerel, and swordfish. These fish can contain high levels of methylmercury.
●It's okay to eat other cooked fish/seafood as long as a variety of other kinds are selected during pregnancy or while a woman is trying to become pregnant. She can eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.

3. Toxoplasma
What it is:
A harmful parasite. It causes an illness called toxoplasmosis that can be difficult to detect.

Where it's found:
Raw and undercooked meat; unwashed fruits and vegetables; soil; dirty cat-litter boxes; and outdoor places where cat feces can be found.
How to prevent illness:

Follow the 4 Simple Steps above.
●If possible, have someone else change the litter box. If you have to clean it, wash your hands with soap and warm water afterwards.
●Wear gloves when gardening or handling sand from a sandbox.
●Don't get a new cat while pregnant.
●Cook meat thoroughly: see the Apply the Heat (PDF | 20.3KB) chart for the proper temperatures.
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/UCM109116.pdf

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Before You're Pregnant

Thinking about becoming pregnant? Before the test is positive, here's how to give your baby a healthy start!

Protecting yourself and your unborn baby just takes following these careful food selection and preparation tips.

So you're thinking about becoming pregnant! This is one of the most important and wonderful decisions you could make. But before you begin to knit those booties, keep in mind there are steps you can take before you become pregnant to help give your baby a healthy start.

Methylmercury and Toxoplasma are two foodborne risks that can have an effect on your baby even before conception! This section tells you how this can happen and outlines the steps you need to take to protect your unborn baby if you become pregnant.

Taking folic acid is another way to give your little one a good start. You'll learn how this essential nutrient helps reduce the risks of common birth defects.

It's Positive!
Once you conceive, be sure to check out While You're Pregnant. You'll learn about specific food safety issues you should be aware of throughout your pregnancy!

【Before You're Pregnant - Methylmercury】

Methylmercury Matters Before Pregnancy
Seafood can be an important part of a balanced diet. It's a good source of high-quality protein and other nutrients and it's low in fat. However, some fish contain high levels of methylmercury, which can harm an unborn child's developing nervous system - even before conception.

So if you're thinking about becoming pregnant, you should be aware of these risks and take steps to prevent exposure to methylmercury. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about methylmercury.
Methylmercury can build up in a woman's body before she becomes pregnant.

"What is methylmercury?"
It's a metal that can be found in certain fish, including swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark. Eating these fish can be harmful to your unborn baby.

"I'm not pregnant - so why should I be concerned about methylmercury?"
If you regularly eat the above types of fish, methylmercury can accumulate in your blood stream over time. It's removed from the body naturally, but it may take over a year to drop to a safe level. So if you happen to become pregnant during that time, methylmercury can pass from your blood into that of your unborn child.

"How could methylmercury affect my unborn baby?"
Some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system.

"How would I know if I've been exposed to methylmercury?"
You will not show noticeable symptoms from eating commercial seafood, but your newborn may experience symptoms (see answer above). If you think you've been exposed to methylmercury, see your doctor or health-care provider immediately.

"Does this mean I can't eat other types of fish?"
No, it's okay to eat other cooked fish/seafood as long as you select a variety of other kinds while you're trying to become pregnant or while you're pregnant. You can eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.

【Before You're Pregnant - Toxoplasma】

Toxoplasma: Prevention Before You Become Pregnant
Did you know that you could feel healthy, but still have toxoplasmosis? This foodborne illness is caused by the parasite, Toxoplasma gondii, and it could be harmful to you and your baby if you become pregnant. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about toxoplasmosis.

"What is Toxoplasma gondii?"
It's a parasite found in raw and undercooked meat; unwashed fruits and vegetables; water; dust; soil; dirty cat-litter boxes; and outdoor places where cat feces can be found. It can cause an illness called toxoplasmosis, which can be particularly harmful to you and your baby.
If you become pregnant while the T. gondii parasite is still in your blood, it can pass through the placenta to your unborn child.

"I'm not pregnant - so why should I be concerned about toxoplasmosis?"
If you have a cat and are thinking about becoming pregnant, you may be at risk for toxoplasmosis. T. gondii infects essentially all cats that spend any time outdoors. Cats get this parasite by eating small animals or raw meat that's infected. The parasite is then passed on through the cat's feces. It doesn't make the cat sick, so you may not know if your cat has the parasite.

You can become exposed to T. gondii by accidental ingestion of contaminated cat feces, which can occur if you touch your hands to your mouth after gardening, cleaning a litter box, or touching anything that comes in contact with cat feces. Over time, the parasite can enter your blood stream. It usually takes about a week. If you become pregnant while the parasite is still in your blood, it can pass through the placenta to your unborn child. You can also get toxoplasmosis by eating raw or undercooked meat or drinking water contaminated with T. gondii. So, you should eat thoroughly cooked meat.

See the Apply the Heat (PDF | 20.3KB) for the recommended cooking temperatures for meat.
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/UCM109116.pdf

"How would I know if I have toxoplasmosis?"
Toxoplasmosis can be difficult to detect. However, symptoms typically include: swollen glands, fever, headache, muscle pain, or a stiff neck. Only 10% of women infected with the parasite have noticeable symptoms - so you could have toxoplasmosis without even being aware that you're ill. If you do experience any of the above symptoms, see your doctor or health-care provider immediately.
Fact: About 85% of pregnant women in the U.S. are at risk of being infected with toxoplasmosis.
(American Journal of Epidemiology)

"How could toxoplasmosis affect my baby?"
In babies, T. gondii can cause hearing loss, mental retardation, and blindness. Some children can develop brain or eye problems years after birth. Children born infected with T. gondii can also require years of special care, including special education and ophthalmology visits. Early identification and treatment of children infected with T. gondii is essential in order to minimize the parasite's effects.

Facts:
●It's estimated that toxoplasmosis infects between 400 and 4,000 fetuses in the U.S. each year.
(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
●Some experts estimate that Toxoplasma kills as many as 80 infants in the U.S. each year.
(U.S. Department of Agriculture)

"If I've had toxoplasmosis, how long should I wait before I become pregnant?"
Some experts suggest waiting for six months after infection to become pregnant. Women who become infected can be treated with medications to clear up the infection.

"How can I prevent toxoplasmosis?"
If you have a cat, you should:
●Have someone else change the litter box, if possible. If you have to clean it, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water afterwards.
●Change the litter box daily. The parasite doesn't become infectious until one to five days after it's shed in the feces.
●Wear gloves when gardening in a garden or handling sand from a sandbox because cats may have excreted feces in them. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water afterwards.
●Cover outdoor sandboxes to prevent cats from using them as litter boxes.
●Feed your cat commercial dry or canned food. Never feed your cat raw meat because it can be a source of the T. gondii parasite.
●Keep indoor cats indoors. Be especially cautious if you bring outdoor cats indoors.
●Avoid stray cats, especially kittens.
●Don't get a new cat while you're pregnant.

"If I own a cat that goes outside, should I be tested?"
Yes, to be safe. Also, see your doctor or health-care provider if you have questions about toxoplasmosis.

【Before You're Pregnant - Folic Acid】
Protecting yourself and your unborn baby just takes following these careful food selection and preparation tips.

Folic Acid: A Healthy Start for Unborn Babies

Your baby's health not only depends on what you eat or don't eat during your pregnancy. It also depends on eating nutritiously before you become pregnant.

If you're thinking about becoming pregnant, make sure you're getting enough folic acid in your diet. Folic acid is an essential nutrient that helps prevent common birth defects. Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about folic acid.

"What is folic acid?"
It's a B vitamin that can help prevent neural tube defects in the fetus when taken before and during pregnancy.

"What are neural tube defects?"
Neural tube defects are common birth defects, which include:
●Spina bifida - a condition in which the spinal cord is exposed. A majority of babies born with this condition grow to adulthood with various degrees of disability, including paralysis and the inability to control bowel and bladder bodily functions. Many may require a series of operations and other treatments.
●Anencephaly - a condition in which most or all of the brain is absent. Infants with this condition die shortly after birth.

Fact: Approximately 2,500 infants are born each year in the U.S. with a neural tube defect. About half these cases are thought to be related to inadequate folic acid intake by the mother.

"Why should I take folic acid before I become pregnant?"
Taking folic acid before you're pregnant is essential in reducing the risk of birth defects. It's important to absorb folic acid in your blood so that when you do become pregnant, your baby will have a healthy start. Since neural tube defects develop 18 to 30 days after conception - often before you even know you're pregnant - taking folic acid is important both before conception and throughout your pregnancy.

"How can I get folic acid in my diet?"
You can get adequate levels of folic acid by eating the following foods:
●Leafy, dark green vegetables
●Legumes (dried beans and peas)
●Citrus fruits and juices
●Most berries
●Whole grains
●Breakfast cereals

In addition, women can get this essential vitamin by taking dietary supplements containing folic acid. See your doctor or health-care provider for advice.

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While You're Pregnant

Congratulations - you're pregnant! This is an exciting time for you and your family. During these nine months, you'll probably experience lots of changes, particularly in your eating habits. As you crave different foods, be aware of the risks of harmful foodborne bacteria. It can cause foodborne illness and can harm you and your baby.

In this section, you'll find out more about foodborne illness and how to prevent it. You'll also learn how to prevent certain foodborne risks during your pregnancy that can be particularly harmful to you and your unborn baby, such as Listeria, Methylmercury, and Toxoplasma. It's all presented in an easy-to-understand, question-and-answer format!

Food Safety Matters!

Food safety is not only important while you're pregnant, but it's key to keeping you and your family healthy for a lifetime. Lifelong Food Safety tells you how to prevent foodborne illness in four easy steps. If you have questions or concerns about specific foods, don't miss Safe Eats. It's your easy-to-use guide to selecting, preparing, and eating foods safely.

【While You're Pregnant - What Is Foodborne Illness?】

Learn about foodborne illness and how to prevent certain foodborne risks during your pregnancy.

Questions

You might have heard about foodborne illness outbreaks in the news, for example, caused by E. coli O157:H7 or Listeria. Often referred to as "food poisoning," it's a sickness that occurs when people eat or drink harmful microorganisms (bacteria, parasites, viruses) or chemical contaminants found in some foods or drinking water.

"Why should I be concerned about foodborne illness?"
You are at particularly high risk for foodborne illness because your immune system is weakened during pregnancy. This is a natural condition, which helps you and your baby get along with each other. However, this weakness also makes it harder for your body to fight off harmful foodborne microorganisms. Your unborn baby is also at high risk because the baby's immune system is not developed enough to fight off harmful foodborne microorganisms.

"What are the symptoms of foodborne illness?"
Symptoms vary, but in general, a person might get sick to their stomach, vomit, or have diarrhea. Sometimes foodborne illness is confused with the flu because the symptoms can be flu like with a fever, headache, and body aches.

"How soon can foodborne illness symptoms appear?"
Eating a contaminated food will usually cause illness in one-to-three days, but sickness can also occur as soon as 20 minutes after ingestion... or as long as six weeks later. Exposure to some metals, such as methylmercury, may take months before any effects are seen because the mercury levels in the body may take time to build up.

"What should I do if I experience symptoms of foodborne illness?"
Check with your doctor or health-care provider immediately. And, if you become ill after eating out, also call your local health department, so the department can investigate to see if there's a serious foodborne illness outbreak in the area.

"How serious can foodborne illness be for me?"
Foodborne illness during pregnancy can cause serious health problems, miscarriage, premature delivery, or even death of the mother. Different microorganisms or chemical contaminants can affect the mother and fetus or newborn in a variety of ways.

For example, sometimes foodborne illness can make the mother sick, leaving her exhausted and dehydrated. Other times the symptoms are absent or so mild that the mother doesn't even know that she's been infected, but she's still passing the infection to her unborn child - who may then experience serious effects from the illness.

"How can foodborne illness affect my baby?"
Harmful foodborne microorganisms or some metals in food can cross the placenta and infect the developing fetus. As a result, the infected fetus or newborn can experience a wide range of health problems - or even death. But, read on... this Web site shows you how to protect your baby.

"What's the general treatment for foodborne illness?"
A doctor may perform a blood test. Maintaining hydration is an important part of the treatment, especially if the mother is vomiting or has diarrhea. Antibiotics that are safe to use during pregnancy may be prescribed by a doctor to get rid of the mother's infection. In most cases, the antibiotics also prevent infection of the fetus or newborn. Antibiotics may also be given to babies who are born with foodborne illness.

"How can I prevent foodborne illness?"
Preventing foodborne illness is really quite easy. In fact, you and your whole family should continue good food safety practices even after the baby is born!

Start with these 4 Simple Steps:
Step 1 CLEAN
Wash hands and surfaces often.

Step 2 SEPARATE
Separate, don't cross-contaminate.

Step 3 COOK
Cook to proper temperatures.

Step 4 CHILL
Refrigerate promptly.

Note: See your doctor or health-care provider if you have questions about foodborne illness.

【While You're Pregnant - Listeria】

Learn about foodborne illness and how to prevent certain foodborne risks during your pregnancy.

Listeria: Frequently Asked Questions

"What is Listeria monocytogenes?"
sandwich, pitcher of milk, and a hot dogIt's a harmful bacterium that can be found in refrigerated, ready-to-eat foods (meat, poultry, seafood, and dairy - unpasteurized milk and milk products or foods made with unpasteurized milk), and soil. Animals can carry this bacterium without appearing ill, and thus, it can be found in foods made from animals. L. monocytogenes is unusual because it can grow at refrigerator temperatures where most other foodborne bacteria do not. When eaten, it may cause listeriosis, an illness to which pregnant women and their unborn children are very susceptible.

"How could I get listeriosis?"
By eating ready-to-eat meats, poultry, seafood, and dairy products that are contaminated with L. monocytogenes. You can also get listeriosis by eating contaminated foods processed or packaged in unsanitary conditions or by eating vegetables that are contaminated from the soil or from manure used as fertilizer.

"How could listeriosis affect me?"
The symptoms can take a few days or even weeks to appear and may include fever, chills, muscle aches, diarrhea or upset stomach, headache, stiff neck, confusion, and loss of balance. In more serious cases, listeriosis could also lead to the mother's death.

Most of the time, pregnant women who are infected with listeriosis don't feel sick. However, they can pass the infection to their unborn babies without even knowing it. That's why prevention of listeriosis is very important. In any case, if you experience any of the above symptoms, see your doctor or health-care provider immediately.

Facts:
●Pregnant women are about 20 times more likely to get listeriosis than other healthy adults.
●An estimated 1/3 of all Listeria cases occur in pregnant women.

(Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

"How could listeriosis affect my baby?"
During the first trimester of pregnancy, listeriosis may cause miscarriage. As the pregnancy progresses to third trimester, the mother is more at risk. Listeriosis can also lead to premature labor, the delivery of a low-birth-weight infant, or infant death. Fetuses who suffer a late infection may develop a wide range of health problems, including mental retardation, paralysis, seizures, blindness, or impairments of the brain, heart, or kidney. In newborns, L. monocytogenes can cause blood infections and meningitis.

Listeriosis & Pregnant Hispanic Women

Studies show that pregnant Hispanic women may have a higher incidence of listeriosis than pregnant non-Hispanic women. This is most likely because they might make and eat homemade soft cheese and other traditional foods made from unpasteurized milk. cheese plate"Queso fresco"- a traditional homemade cheese, prepared from unpasteurized milk and widely consumed by Hispanics - has led to miscarriages, death of newborns, and premature delivery caused by L. monocytogenes.

To prevent the risk of listeriosis, Hispanic pregnant women should not eat homemade soft cheeses and other traditional foods made from unpasteurized milk. Like all other pregnant women, they should follow the food safety precautions outlined below.

"How can I prevent listeriosis?"
The good news is that listeriosis can be prevented! Here's how...

Time to Chill
●Your refrigerator should register at 40° F (4° C) or below and the freezer at 0° F (-18° C). Place a refrigerator thermometer in the refrigerator, and check the temperature periodically. During the automatic defrost cycle, the temperature may register slightly higher than 40° F. This is okay.
●Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food, and leftovers within two hours of eating or preparation. Follow the 2-Hour Rule: Discard food that's left out at room temperature for longer than two hours. When temperatures are above 90° F (32° C), discard food after one hour.
●Use ready-to-eat, perishable foods, such as dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, and produce, as soon as possible.

Fridge TIPS
●Clean your refrigerator regularly.
●Wipe up spills immediately.
●Clean the inside walls and shelves with hot water and a mild liquid dishwashing detergent; then rinse.
●Once a week, check expiration and "use by" dates, and throw out foods if the date has passed. Follow the recommended storage times for foods.

Refrigerator & Freezer Storage Chart (PDF).
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/ucm109315.pdf

To Eat or Not to Eat?

Don't eat:
No!
●Hot dogs and luncheon meats - unless they're reheated until steaming hot.
●Soft cheeses like Feta, Brie, and Camembert, "blue-veined cheeses," or "queso blanco," "queso fresco," or Panela - unless they're made with pasteurized milk. Make sure the label says, "made with pasteurized milk."
●Refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads.
●Refrigerated smoked seafood - unless it's in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. (Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel is most often labeled as "nova-style," "lox," "kippered," "smoked," or "jerky." These types of fish are found in the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens.)
●Raw (unpasteurized) milk or foods that contain unpasteurized milk.

It's okay to eat:
Yes!
●Canned or shelf-stable (able to be stored unrefrigerated on the shelf) pâtés and meat spreads.
●Canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood.
●Pasteurized milk or foods that contain pasteurized milk.

Note: See your doctor or health-care provider if you have questions about listeriosis.

【While You're Pregnant - Methylmercury】

Learn about foodborne illness and how to prevent certain foodborne risks during your pregnancy.

Methylmercury: Frequently Asked Questions

Fish "What is methylmercury?"
It's a metal that can be found in certain fish. The methylmercury in these fish can be harmful to your unborn baby if you eat these fish. Mercury occurs naturally in the environment and can also be released into the air through industrial pollution. It falls from the air and can get into surface water, accumulating in streams and oceans. Bacteria in the water cause chemical changes that transform mercury into methylmercury, which can be toxic. Fish absorb methylmercury as they feed on aquatic organisms.

"Is there methylmercury in all fish?"
Nearly all fish contain traces of methylmercury. However, larger fish that have lived longer have the highest levels of methylmercury because they've had more time to accumulate it. These large fish pose the greatest risk to pregnant women who eat them regularly.

"How could I become exposed to methylmercury?"
Fish in the diet is the major source of methylmercury, and eating certain types of fish leads to the accumulation of methylmercury in the body. Methylmercury can build up in your blood stream, and can then pass from your blood into that of your unborn child.

Methylmercury is removed from the body naturally, but it may take over a year for the levels to drop to a safe level. Thus, it may be present in a woman even before she becomes pregnant. This is one of the reasons that women who are trying to become pregnant should also avoid eating certain types of fish.

"How can I tell if I've been exposed to methylmercury?"
You will not show noticeable symptoms from eating commercial seafood, but your newborn may experience symptoms (see next question). If you think you've been exposed to methylmercury, see your doctor or health-care provider immediately.

"How could methylmercury affect my baby?"
Some fish and shellfish contain higher levels of mercury that may harm an unborn baby or young child's developing nervous system.

"What types of fish should I avoid eating while I'm pregnant or trying to become pregnant?"
You, along with nursing mothers and young children, should not eat the following fish, as they can contain high levels of methylmercury:
●Swordfish
●Tilefish
●King mackerel
●Shark

It's okay to eat other cooked fish/seafood as long as you select a variety of other kinds while you're pregnant or trying to become pregnant. You can eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish. Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.

Note: If you have questions or think you've been exposed to methylmercury, see your doctor or health-care provider immediately.

【While You're Pregnant - Toxoplasma】

Learn about foodborne illness and how to prevent certain foodborne risks during your pregnancy.

Toxoplasma: Frequently Asked Questions

Questions
"What is Toxoplasma gondii?"
It's a parasite found in raw and undercooked meat; unwashed fruits and vegetables; water; dust; soil; dirty cat-litter boxes; and outdoor places where cat feces can be found. It can cause an illness called toxoplasmosis that can be particularly harmful to you and your unborn baby.

"How could I get toxoplasmosis?"
You could get this illness by...
●Eating raw or undercooked meat, especially pork, lamb, or venison, or by touching your hands to your mouth after handling undercooked meat. See the Apply the Heat (PDF | 20.3KB) chart for the recommended cooking temperatures for meats.
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/UCM109116.pdf
●Using contaminated knives, utensils, cutting boards, and other foods that have had contact with raw meat.
●Drinking water contaminated with T. gondii.
●Accidentally ingesting contaminated cat feces, which can occur if you touch your hands to your mouth after gardening, cleaning a litter box, or touching anything that comes in contact with cat feces.

Facts:
●About 85% of pregnant women in the U.S. are at risk of being infected with toxoplasmosis. (American Journal of Epidemiology)
●Studies show that the risk of Toxoplasma infection during pregnancy is 20% to 50%, depending on the timing of the infection. (Obstetrical and Gynecological Survey)

"How could toxoplasmosis affect me?"
Symptoms typically include: swollen glands, fever, headache, muscle pain, or a stiff neck. Toxoplasmosis can be difficult to detect. Some women infected with the parasite may not have noticeable symptoms - so a pregnant woman can easily expose her fetus to toxoplasmosis without even being aware that she's ill. That's why prevention of toxoplasmosis is very important. If you do experience any of the above symptoms, see your doctor or health-care provider immediately.

"How can toxoplasmosis affect my baby?"
In babies, T. gondii can cause hearing loss, mental retardation, and blindness. Some children can develop brain or eye problems years after birth. Children born infected with T. gondii can also require years of special care, including special education and ophthalmology visits. Early identification and treatment of children infected with T. gondii is essential in order to minimize the parasite's effects.

Facts:

●It's estimated that toxoplasmosis infects between 400 and 4,000 fetuses in the U.S. each year. (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
●Some experts estimate that Toxoplasma kills as many as 80 infants in the U.S. each year. (U.S. Department of Agriculture)
●By age 20, as many as 80% of children born with toxoplasmosis that was left untreated develop impairments ranging from mental retardation to blindness. (Council for Agricultural Science and Technology)

"How can I prevent toxoplasmosis?"
It's easy - you and your family should:

CLEAN
●Wash your hands with soap and warm water after touching soil, sand, raw meat, cat litter, or unwashed vegetables.
●Wash all cutting boards and knives thoroughly with soap and hot water after each use.
●Thoroughly wash and/or peel all fruits and vegetables before eating them.

SEPARATE
●Separate raw meat from other foods in your grocery shopping cart, refrigerator, and while preparing and handling foods at home.

COOK
●Cook meat thoroughly. The internal temperature of the meat should reach 160° F (71° C). Use a food thermometer to check.
●Don't sample meat until it's cooked.

Don't Drink the Water!
Avoid drinking untreated water, particularly when traveling in less-developed countries.

For Cat Lovers
Cat Don't give "Fluffy" away, but be aware that T. gondii infects essentially all cats that spend any time outdoors. Cats get this parasite by eating small animals or raw meat that's been infected. The parasite is then passed on through the cat's feces. It doesn't make the cat sick, so a pregnant woman may not know if her cat has it.

Follow these tips:
●If possible, have someone else change the litter box. If you have to clean it, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands thoroughly with soap and warm water afterwards.
●Change the litter box daily. The parasite doesn't become infectious until one to five days after it's shed in the feces.
●Wear gloves when gardening in a garden or handling sand from a sandbox because cats may have excreted feces in them. Be sure to wash your hands with soap and warm water afterwards.
●Cover outdoor sandboxes to prevent cats from using them as litter boxes.
●Feed your cat commercial dry or canned food. Never feed your cat raw meat because it can be a source of the T. gondii parasite.
●Keep indoor cats indoors. Be especially cautious if you bring outdoor cats indoors.
●Avoid stray cats, especially kittens.
●Don't get a new cat while you're pregnant.

Note: If you have a cat and are concerned about exposure to Toxoplasma, talk to your doctor or health-care provider.

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Safe Eats

Is sushi safe? What about "smoothies?" This easy-to-use section provides a food-by-food guide to selecting, preparing, and eating foods safely.

【Safe Eats - Meat, Poultry & Seafood】

Welcome to Safe Eats, your food-by-food guide to selecting, preparing, and handling foods safely throughout your pregnancy and beyond!

Meat, Poultry and SeafoodProtein in meat, poultry, and seafood is an important nutrient in your diet, but it can also be an ideal environment for some harmful bacteria. Here's how to keep harmful bacteria at bay and your family safe.

Tips for a Lifetime

Clean Is Key!

Your first steps in food safety are...
●Wash hands thoroughly with warm water and soap before and after handling raw meat, poultry, and seafood.
●Wash cutting boards, dishes, and utensils (including knives), and countertops with soap and hot water after they come in contact with raw meat, poultry or seafood.

Sanitize It!

Kitchen countertops that come in contact with raw meat, poultry, and seafood can be sanitized using a kitchen sanitizer. One teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach per quart of clean water can also be used to sanitize surfaces. Leave the bleach solution on the surface for about 10 minutes to be effective.

S-E-P-A-R-A-T-E

Improper handling of raw meat, poultry, and seafood can set the stage for cross-contamination - the spread of bacteria from foods, hands, utensils, and food preparation surfaces to another food. Here's how to stop it:
●Separate raw meat, poultry, and seafood from ready-to-eat foods in your grocery shopping cart, refrigerator, and while preparing and handling foods at home. Also, consider placing these raw foods inside plastic bags in your grocery shopping cart to keep the juices contained.
●To prevent juices from raw meat, poultry, or seafood from dripping onto other foods in the refrigerator, place these raw foods in sealed containers or sealable plastic bags.
●If possible, use one cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and seafood and another one for fresh fruits and vegetables. If two cutting boards aren't available, prepare fruits and vegetables first, and put them safely out of the way. Wash the cutting board thoroughly with soap and hot water. Then, prepare the raw meat, poultry, or seafood. Follow by washing the cutting board again.
●Marinades used on raw meat, poultry, or seafood can contain harmful bacteria. Don't reuse these marinades on cooked foods - unless you boil them before applying.
●Never taste uncooked marinade or sauce that was used to marinate raw meat, poultry, or seafood.
●Place cooked food on a clean plate for serving. If cooked food is placed on an unwashed plate that previously held raw meat, poultry, or seafood, bacteria from the raw food could contaminate the cooked food.

CHILL!

To keep all meats, poultry, and food in general safe...
●Your refrigerator should register at 40° F (4° C) and the freezer at 0° F (-18° C). Place a refrigerator thermometer in the refrigerator, and check the temperature periodically. During the automatic defrost cycle, the temperature may register slightly higher than 40° F (4° C). This is okay.

When storing seafood...
●Buy only fresh seafood that's refrigerated or properly iced.
●Refrigerate or freeze seafood immediately if you're not going to cook it right away.

Moms-to-Be: Know the Facts About Methylmercury
Methylmercury is a metal that can be found in some fish. If you're pregnant or trying to become pregnant, don't eat swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark.

It's okay to eat other cooked fish/seafood as long as a variety of other kinds are selected during pregnancy or while a woman is trying to become pregnant. She can choose shellfish, canned fish, smaller ocean fish, or farm-raised fish. She can safely eat 12 ounces per week of a variety of cooked fish. A typical serving size of fish is from 3 to 6 ounces. Of course, if her serving sizes are smaller, she can eat fish more frequently. For more information, see Methylmercury.

Pre-stuffed Poultry: Fresh Vs. Frozen
●Avoid purchasing fresh, raw whole poultry that's been pre-stuffed. The raw-meat juices mixing with the stuffing can cause bacterial growth.
●Frozen, raw whole poultry that's been pre-stuffed is safe and should be cooked in its frozen state; don't defrost it first.

COOK IT RIGHT!

Raw fish (such as sushi or sashimi) or foods made with raw fish are more likely to contain parasites or bacteria than foods made from cooked fish, so it's important to cook fish thoroughly. Here's how...

Seafood

Finfish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145° F (63° C). When a food thermometer is not available or appropriate, follow these tips to determine when seafood is done:
●Cook fish until it's opaque (milky white) and flakes with a fork.
●Cook shrimp, lobster, and scallops until they reach their appropriate color. The flesh of shrimp and lobster should be an opaque (milky white) color. Scallops should be opaque (milky white) and firm.
●Cook clams, mussels, and oysters until their shells open. This means that they are done. Throw away the ones that didn't open.

Eating Raw Seafood Is Risky
A pregnant woman and her unborn baby are at risk if she eats raw or undercooked seafood. Moms-to-be should avoid eating raw or undercooked finfish or shellfish (including oysters, clams, mussels, and scallops).

Cook raw meat and poultry to safe internal temperatures. Always use a clean food thermometer to check the internal temperature of these foods. Make sure it goes straight into meats, but doesn't come out the other side and touch the pan. Cook meat and poultry to these temperatures:

Meat
●Cook beef, veal, and lamb roasts and steaks to at least 145° F (63° C).

Ground Meat
●Cook ground beef, veal, lamb, and pork to at least 160° F (71° C).
●Cook ground poultry to 165° F (74° C).

Poultry
●Cook all poultry to minimal safe internal temperature of 165° F (74° C).
●Consumers may wish to cook poultry to a higher temperature for personal preference.

Pork
●Cook pork to an internal temperature of 145° F (63° C), with a 3 minute rest time.

Smart Talk For Moms To Be

"How can I tell if fish is fresh?"
Perfectly fresh fish and shellfish have virtually no odor. It's only when seafood starts to spoil that it takes on a "fishy" aroma. Fresh fish will have these signs:
●The eyes are clean and bulge a little.
●Whole fish and fillets have firm and shiny flesh and bright, red gills free from slime.
●The flesh springs back when pressed.
●There is no darkening around the edges or brown or yellowish discoloration.
●The fish smells fresh and mild, not "fishy" or ammonia-like.

Note: Keep in mind that just because fish is fresh doesn't mean it's bacteria-free. You still need to follow the food safety tips above when handling or preparing fresh fish.

"What should I look out for when buying frozen seafood?"
You should follow these guidelines:
●Don't buy frozen seafood if its package is open, torn, or crushed on the edges.
●Don't buy packages that are above the frost line in the store's freezer.
●If you can see through the package, look for signs of frost or ice crystals, which could mean the fish has been stored a long time or defrosted and refrozen. In this case, you shouldn't buy it.
●There should be no white spots, dark spots, discoloration or fading, or red or pink flesh to indicate drying-out.

"Some of my favorite seafoods are raw clams and oysters. Why aren't they safe to eat?"
They're unsafe because raw seafoods are more likely to contain parasites or bacteria than foods made from cooked seafood. In addition, clams, mussels, and other mollusks get their food by filtering large quantities of water through their shells. In doing so, they can accumulate more bacteria and viruses than finfish. This makes raw mollusks particularly unsafe to eat. Seafood that's been cooked thoroughly is safe to eat.

"Should I stop marinating meat, poultry, and seafood at room temperature while I'm pregnant?"
Actually, you should discontinue this practice whether you're pregnant or not. Marinade that's been used on raw meat, poultry, and seafood contains raw juices, which may contain harmful bacteria. And, bacteria grow rapidly at room temperature. Refrigeration slows bacterial growth, so for your safety, foods should always be refrigerated while marinating.

【Safe Eats - Dairy & Eggs】

Welcome to Safe Eats, your food-by-food guide to selecting, preparing, and handling foods safely throughout your pregnancy and beyond!

Dairy and EggsDairy and eggs are an important part of a healthy diet. Careful handling of these foods will help prevent foodborne illness. Here's how to do it...

Tips for a Lifetime
Eggs-tra Care for Eggs...

Some raw eggs can be contaminated with harmful bacteria. Here are some egg safety tips:
●Cook eggs thoroughly until the yolks and whites are firm.
●Cook scrambled eggs until they're firm throughout.
●Avoid eating or tasting foods that may contain raw or lightly-cooked eggs, such as:
*Raw batter, filling, or cookie dough made with raw eggs
*Eggnog and other egg-fortified beverages that are not thoroughly cooked
*Homemade and fresh-made dressings and sauces made with raw eggs -
*Caesar salad dressing
*Béarnaise sauce
*Hollandaise sauce
*Aioli sauce
*Mayonnaise
*Homemade ice cream
*Mousse
*Meringue
*Tiramisu

Note: Commercial mayonnaise, dressing, and sauces contain pasteurized eggs that are safe to eat.

Safe Ways to Make Your Favorite Egg-containing Foods!
●Use store-bought products of the foods listed above, which are often already cooked or pasteurized.
●Make recipes that call for raw eggs safer by adding the eggs to the amount of liquid called for in the recipe, then heating the mixture thoroughly.
●Purchase pasteurized eggs. These eggs can be found in some supermarkets and are labeled "pasteurized." Here are several types consumers can buy:
*Fresh, pasteurized eggs in the shell (found in the refrigerator section)
*Liquid, pasteurized egg products (found in the refrigerator section)
*Frozen, pasteurized egg products (found in the frozen food section)
*Powdered egg whites (found in the baking section)

The Chill Factor

Cold temperatures keep most harmful bacteria from multiplying, so to prevent the growth of bacteria, keep milk and milk products refrigerated at 40° F (4° C) and follow expiration and "use-by" dates on products.
Be Sure Dairy is Pasteurized!

All milk sold in interstate commerce is pasteurized (heat-processed to kill harmful bacteria). However, other dairy products, such as some cheeses, are not necessarily made with pasteurized milk. These products may be produced and sold locally, such as on dairy farms or local cheese stores. Be sure that all the dairy products you consume are made with pasteurized milk. Check the label.

Moms-to-Be: Watch Out for Listeria
Listeria is a bacterium that can be found in unpasteurized milk and cheese made from unpasteurized milk. It can be particularly harmful to you and your unborn baby. For more information, see Listeria.

Smart Talk For Moms To Be

"I haven't heard about pasteurized eggs in the shell until now. What are they and where can I get them?"
Today, some manufacturers are pasteurizing eggs in the shell. Eggs in the shell are heated to a temperature that kills bacteria, but doesn't cook the eggs. Pasteurized eggs in the shell can be found in the refrigerator section of some supermarkets. Read the label to check.

"I've tasted cake batter from a mixing bowl since I was a child. Why is it an issue now?"
The issue is Salmonella Enteritidis, a harmful bacterium that can be found in raw eggs. Tasting raw cookie dough or raw cake batter than contains raw eggs is risky. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that one egg in 20,000 may be contaminated. Although the number of eggs affected is small, there have been cases of foodborne illness caused by contaminated eggs. To be safe, avoid tasting raw batter, filling, or raw cookie dough that contains raw eggs.

"Is store-bought cookie dough ice cream safe to eat?"
Yes, it's made from specially-produced cookie dough that's pasteurized, so eat on!

"I love 'queso fresco,' a Mexican-style cheese, but it's often made with unpasteurized milk. Is there a way to make it safely?"
If you enjoy making your own cheeses at home, be sure to use pasteurized milk.

【Safe Eats - Fruits, Veggies & Juices】

Welcome to Safe Eats, your food-by-food guide to selecting, preparing, and handling foods safely throughout your pregnancy and beyond!

Fruits, Vegetables and JuicesFresh fruits, veggies, and juices taste good and are good for you. Careful selection and handling of these foods will prevent foodborne illness. Follow these tips to be safe.

Tips for a Lifetime

Wash those Fruits and Veggies!

Raw fruits and vegetables can become contaminated with harmful bacteria. Here's the proper way to prepare and handle them safely:
●Thoroughly rinse raw fruits and vegetables under running water before eating or preparing them, especially fruits that require peeling or cutting - like cantaloupe and other melons. Bacteria can be found on the outer rind or peel.
●Don't use soap, detergents, or bleach solutions to wash produce.
●As an added precaution, use a small vegetable brush to remove surface dirt.
●Try to cut away damaged or bruised areas - bacteria can thrive in these places.

Pregnant Women Be Aware!
Toxoplasma, a parasite that can be found on unwashed fruits and vegetables, can be particularly harmful to a mom-to-be and her unborn baby. For more information, see Toxoplasma.

The Sprout Issue

Bacteria can get into sprout seeds through cracks in the shell before the sprouts are grown. Once this occurs, these bacteria are nearly impossible to wash out. Sprouts grown in the home are also risky if eaten raw. Many outbreaks have been linked to contaminated seed. If pathogenic bacteria are present in or on the seed, they can grow to high levels during sprouting - even under clean conditions. To reduce the risk:
●Avoid eating raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, radish, and mung bean).
●Cook sprouts thoroughly. This significantly reduces the risk of illness.
●Check sandwiches and salads purchased at restaurants and delicatessens. They may often contain raw sprouts. Request that raw sprouts not be added to your food.

Juicy TIPS...

When fruits and vegetables are peeled, cut, or fresh-squeezed, harmful bacteria that may be on the outside can spread to the inside of the produce. To prevent foodborne illness, only drink those juices that have been pasteurized or otherwise treated to kill harmful bacteria. Read the label! Also, remember to thoroughly rinse raw fruits and vegetables under running water before eating or preparing them at home.

Pasteurized Juice: Where to Find It

Pasteurized or Shelf-stable Juice
Pasteurized juice can be found in the refrigerated or frozen juice sections of stores. Like milk, pasteurized juice must be refrigerated or frozen.

Shelf-stable juice is able to be stored unrefrigerated on the shelf and is normally found in the non-refrigerated juice section of stores. It's packaged in treated containers, such as boxes, bottles, or cans.

Unpasteurized or Untreated Juice

These are normally found in the refrigerated sections of grocery stores, health-food stores, cider mills, or farm markets. Such juices must have this warning on the label:

WARNING:
This product has not been pasteurized and therefore may contain harmful bacteria that can cause serious illness in children, the elderly, and persons with weakened immune systems.

Note:
Juices that are fresh-squeezed and sold by the glass, such as at farmer's markets, at roadside stands, or in some juice bars, may not be pasteurized, or otherwise treated to ensure their safety. Warning labels are not required on these products. Pregnant women and young children should avoid these juices.
If you can't tell if a juice has been processed to destroy harmful bacteria, either don't use the product or boil it to kill any harmful bacteria.

Smart Talk For Moms To Be

"I never read the labels on juice. Isn't all juice pasteurized?"
Ninety-eight percent of the juice sold in the U.S. is pasteurized (heat is applied to the juice to kill harmful bacteria). The remaining 2% of juice is unpasteurized and may contain harmful bacteria. For your safety and that of your baby, always read the labels to make sure juice is pasteurized.

"I love 'smoothies'! Are they safe to drink while I'm pregnant?"
There have been foodborne illness outbreaks associated with drinking "smoothies" (blended fruit drinks) made with unpasteurized juice. "Smoothies" made with pasteurized juice are safe to drink. If you're making "smoothies" at home or ordering one from a restaurant, make sure it's made with pasteurized juice. Also, if you're using fresh fruits, be sure to wash them thoroughly under running water.

"I thought the acid in juice would kill any bacteria that might be present. Is this not true?"
No, acid doesn't always kill bacteria, often it only slows or stops bacterial growth. Plus, there are some bacteria that are very resistant to acid. For example, E. coli O157:H7 can survive in acidic juices, like orange or apple, for a long time.

【Safe Eats - Ready-to-Eat Foods】

Welcome to Safe Eats, your food-by-food guide to selecting, preparing, and handling foods safely throughout your pregnancy and beyond!

Protecting you and your unborn baby from Listeria just takes following these careful food selection and preparation tips.Ready-to-Eat Foods

Tips for Moms-to-Be

What Is It? Listeria is a bacterium that can be found in ready-to-eat, perishable foods such as dairy, meat, poultry, and seafood. It's unusual because it can grow at refrigerator temperatures where most other foodborne bacteria do not. It can also be particularly harmful to you and your unborn baby.

For more information, see Listeria.

Check Time and Temperatures
●Your refrigerator should register at 40° F (4° C) or below and the freezer at 0° F (-18° C). Place a refrigerator thermometer in the refrigerator, and check the temperature periodically. During the automatic defrost cycle, the temperature may register slightly higher than 40° F. This is okay.
●Refrigerate or freeze perishables, prepared food, and leftovers within two hours of eating or preparation. Follow the 2-Hour Rule: Discard food that's left out at room temperature for longer than two hours. When temperatures are above 90° F (32° C), discard food after one hour.
●Use ready-to-eat, perishable foods, such as dairy, meat, poultry, seafood, and produce, as soon as possible.

Clean the Fridge
●Clean your refrigerator regularly.
●Wipe up spills immediately.
●Clean the inside walls and shelves with hot water and a mild liquid dishwashing detergent; then rinse.
●Once a week, check expiration and "use by" dates, and throw out foods if the date has passed. Follow the recommended storage times for foods. See the Refrigerator & Freezer Storage Chart (PDF).

To Eat or Not to Eat?

Don't eat:
●Hot dogs and luncheon meats - unless they're reheated until steaming hot.
●Soft cheeses like Feta, Brie, and Camembert, "blue-veined cheeses," or "queso blanco," "queso fresco," or Panela - unless they're made with pasteurized milk. Make sure the label says, "made with pasteurized milk."
●Refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads.
●Refrigerated smoked seafood - unless it's in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. (Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel, is most often labeled as "nova-style," "lox," "kippered," "smoked," or "jerky." These types of fish are found in the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens.)
●Raw (unpasteurized) milk or foods that contain unpasteurized milk.

It's okay to eat:
●Canned or shelf-stable (able to be stored unrefrigerated on the shelf) pbtés and meat spreads.
●Canned or shelf-stable smoked seafood.
●Pasteurized milk or foods that contain pasteurized milk.

Smart Talk For Moms To Be

"I've heard about Listeria in relation to pregnancy. What is it that makes this bacterium more harmful to me and my baby than other foodborne bacteria?"
All foodborne bacteria can pose a risk to pregnant women and people in general, so it's important for everyone to always follow good food safety practices. But, because a pregnant woman's immune system is constantly changing during these nine months, certain foodborne pathogens, such as Listeria and Toxoplasma (a parasite that can be found in raw or undercooked pork, lamb, or venison; contaminated water; and cat litter) and methylmercury (a metal found in some fish and shellfish), are more effective in crossing the placenta into the fetus than other foodborne pathogens.

These risks often don't make the mother feel very sick, but can have a severe effect on her unborn baby. The good news is... they're easy to prevent! (See Lifelong Food Safety for four easy steps for preventing foodborne illness.) For more information, see Listeria, Methylmercury, and Toxoplasma.

"Does the temperature of my refrigerator really matter in helping reduce the growth of Listeria?"
Yes, making sure that the inside temperature of your refrigerator registers at 40: F (4: C) is really important! Listeria can grow at refrigerator temperatures, but at 40: F (4: C) or below, it grows more slowly. Remember, the more bacteria there are, the greater the chances for foodborne illness. Plus, using ready-to-eat, perishable foods as soon as possible means that Listeria has less time to grow. And, be sure to follow the guidelines above for cleaning your refrigerator. This will also help keep Listeria at bay!

"I've read about food recalls in the news involving Listeria. What should I do if I have food that's recalled because of Listeria?"
Don't eat any food that's recalled and removed from grocery store shelves. Always return recalled food to the place where you bought it. For the latest product recalls, see this Web site: www.recalls.gov.

【Safe Eats - Eating Out & Bringing In】

Welcome to Safe Eats, your food-by-food guide to selecting, preparing, and handling foods safely throughout your pregnancy and beyond!

Eating at a restaurant, cafeteria, or a fast food place can be an enjoyable experience. But, because you're pregnant, you need to take special care that the food served to you is safe. During pregnancy, your immune system is weakened, which makes it harder for your body to fight off harmful foodborne microorganisms that cause foodborne illness. Here's how to stay safe...

Make a Clean Start

When you eat out, look at your surroundings before you even sit down. If it's not clean, you should consider eating somewhere else. Also, make sure you wash your hands with soap and warm water before eating. If soap and water aren't available, use alcohol-based wipes or gel formulas to clean your hands.

Before you sit down, be sure it's clean all around...

What's On the Menu?

When dining out, remember that harmful bacteria can be hidden in some foods on the menu, so pay close attention to the type of food it is and how it's prepared.

Cook Thoroughly, Please
Always request that your food be cooked thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. When a hot meal is served, make sure it's piping hot and thoroughly cooked. If it's lukewarm, send it back.

Eating It Raw is Risky
Raw fish (such as sushi or sashimi) or foods made with raw fish are more likely to contain parasites or bacteria than foods made from cooked fish. Don't eat raw or undercooked finfish or shellfish (including oysters, clams, and mussels).

Moms-to-Be: Don't Order These

Swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, and shark. These fish can contain high levels of methylmercury, a metal that can be harmful to your unborn baby. For more information, see Methylmercury.

It's okay to eat other cooked fish/seafood as long as a variety of other kinds are selected during pregnancy or while a woman is trying to become pregnant. You can choose shellfish, canned fish, smaller ocean fish, or farm-raised fish. You can safely eat 12 ounces per week of a variety of cooked fish. A typical serving size of fish is from 3 to 6 ounces. Of course, if your serving sizes are smaller, you can eat fish more frequently.

Raw sprouts of any kind (including alfalfa, clover, and radish). Bacteria can get into the sprout seeds through cracks in the shell before the sprouts are grown. Once this occurs, these bacteria are nearly impossible to wash out. Check sandwiches and salads. They may often contain raw sprouts. Request that raw sprouts not be added to your food.

Juice by the glass. Juices that are fresh squeezed and sold by the glass, at some juice bars, for example, may not be pasteurized or otherwise treated to ensure their safety. Warning labels are not required on these products. Pregnant women and young children should avoid all unpasteurized juices.

Harmful bacteria can be found in raw or undercooked eggs. Some restaurants may use uncooked eggs in foods like Caesar salad dressing, custards, and some sauces. Avoid foods that might contain raw or undercooked eggs.

If you're unsure about the ingredients in a particular dish, ask your server before ordering it.

Bringing In
With meal portions getting bigger, more and more people are packing the doggie bag with leftovers to enjoy later. Take care to handle leftovers, take-out, and delivered foods safely.

Leaving A Restaurant With A Doggie Bag?...

Handle the leftovers with care. If you won't be arriving home within two hours of being served, don't take the leftovers home with you. And, remember that the inside of a car can get very warm, and bacteria can grow rapidly in foods if they're left in these conditions. To be safe, it's best to go directly home after eating out and put your leftovers in the refrigerator as soon as you arrive.

A Note About Take-Out Foods...

When hot, cooked food is purchased, get the food home quickly and eat it right away. Don't let it sit out at room temperature. Cold foods should be eaten within two hours of preparation. Otherwise, store it in the refrigerator or freeze it for eating at another time.

Special Delivery...

For delivered foods, eat the food within two hours after it arrives to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying. If the food is not going to be eaten within two hours, you can keep it hot in the oven with the temperature set at or above 200° F (93° C). Side dishes, like stuffing, must also be kept hot in the oven. Covering food will help keep it moist while you keep it warm. Check with a food thermometer to make sure that the food is held at an internal temperature of 140° F (60° C).

The Danger Zone
The "danger zone" is the range of temperatures at which bacteria can grow - usually between 40° and 140° F (4° and 60° C). For food safety, it's important to keep food below or above the "danger zone." Remember the 2-Hour Rule: Discard any perishables (foods that can spoil or become contaminated by bacteria if unrefrigerated) left out at room temperature for longer than two hours. When temperatures are above 90° F (32° C), discard food after one hour.

For the recommended cooking temperatures for foods, See the Apply the Heat (PDF) chart.
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/UCM109116.pdf

For the recommended storage times for foods, see the Refrigerator & Freezer Storage Chart. (PDF)
http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators/ucm109315.pdf

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