Importance of food hygiene in pregnancy

Food hygiene is important at all stages of life in order to guarantee good health by avoiding the appearance of food- borne infections and poisonings . However, during pregnancy these safety measures are even more relevant since if they are not applied the health of the mother and especially the baby could be endangered. That is why in this article I am going to explain how to follow good food hygiene in pregnancy. You can find more information about this stage of life here at .

What are the most common infections in our environment?

Almost all pregnant women follow a series of hygiene measures and in many cases they do not know what infections or poisonings they prevent. The most common infections that are prevented by following these steps are:

  • Salmonellosis : by consumption of raw or undercooked eggs, poultry or other meats also with little cooking.
  • Listeriosis : from consumption of unpasteurized pâtés, milk and dairy products, etc.
  • Toxoplasmosis : from consumption of undercooked meats, unpasteurized milk and dairy products or contact with infected cats if hygiene measures are not applied after contact.
  • Campylobacter infection – from drinking contaminated water, unpasteurized milk and dairy products, etc.

How to avoid foodborne infections during pregnancy

To avoid the previously described food infections and also other types of infections, it is suggested that pregnant women or people who prepare their food, apply these recommendations:

  1. Wash vegetables and fruits thoroughly and avoid those that have not been peeled or washed previously, including bagged salads and those eaten away from home.
  2. Cook all meat thoroughly , including the center of the food, and avoid raw or undercooked meat such as carpaccios.
  3. Avoid raw fish (such as sushi, sashimi, ceviche …), chilled or marinated smoked fish, as well as raw oysters, clams or mussels. Properly cooked fish can be eaten.
  4. Do not consume packaged sandwiches and other prepared foods that contain vegetables, eggs, meat, cold cuts, fish and derivatives.
  5. Cook the eggs in their entirety , so that both the white and the yolk are solid and avoid preparations made with raw eggs such as homemade sauces and mayonnaise, mousses, meringues, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, egg nog, etc.
  6. Do not consume refrigerated pâtés, raw milk or fresh or soft-paste cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Mozzarella and blue cheeses, if the label does not say they are made with pasteurized milk.
  7. Remove the rind from all the cheeses.
  8. Eliminate leftovers from meals. If this is not possible, reheat meals above 75ºC.
  9. Check the expiration date of all packaged products.
  10. Avoid the consumption of cured meat products such as chorizo, salami, cured ham, etc. if you are not immunized to toxoplasmosis.
  11. Avoid the consumption of large fish such as swordfish, shark, bluefin tuna or pike due to their high mercury content


Other common recommendations

In addition to these recommendations, we must not forget the usual recommendations. L avarse hands thoroughly before handling food and after handling any product as dirty diapers is a measure of basic hygiene should always be followed. Another ‘basic’ of hygiene would be to try to keep kitchen surfaces and utensils very clean, especially after handling raw food. It is also important to keep cooked food in the fridge, in the shortest time possible and in closed containers and separate from raw food or to have the habit of checking that the fridge is kept at the correct temperature (about 5ºC) You can find more information here

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