During pregnancy, food borne illnesses are a huge risk to moms and babies, because during this time mothers are more susceptible to the bacteria that cause them. This simple guide will help keep you and your baby safe whether you’re packing a picnic or cooking in the kitchen!



Keeping clean in the kitchen is the first line of defense to preventing food borne illnesses – google image 

  • Make hand washing a habit. While this step seems simple it can be the most important …and the most overlooked. Always wash your hands after touching foreign objects, like pets, diapers, or even after blowing your nose, and before handling food.
  • Make sure you’re really cleaning! Rewash sponges and dish rags frequently and sanitize cutting boards, utensils, the sink, refrigerator, and counter tops often.
  • Properly prep your produce; Make sure to always wash all fresh produce for at least 30 seconds.


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It’s best to always keep meats and poultry separated from all other produce and ready-to-eat items – google image 

  • At the store: make sure to put all raw meats in different bags when packaging them. If you use reusable bags wash them between uses to ensure that bacteria isn’t being spread to other food.
  • At home: make sure that raw meat (and any of its juices) never comes into contact with other foods in the fridge. And try to designate a specific cutting board for meat and another for produce so that they don’t come into contact during food preparation.



Ensure that food is cooked thoroughly and all bacteria  – google image 

How can you tell when it’s done? Using a thermometer is the best way to ensure that food is cooked thoroughly and all bacteria has been killed.

The USDA recommends that these foods be cooked to the following temperatures to ensure food safety:

  • 145 °F – Beef, Pork, Veal, Ham, Lamb, Fish, and Shellfish
  • 160 °F – Ground meats and Eggs
  • 165 °F – All Poultry, Leftovers, and Casseroles

But thermometers aren’t always easy to use on some foods. Use these tips to make sure your food is safe.

  • Cook eggs until yolk and white are firm to the touch.
  • Flesh of shrimp, lobsters, scallops, and crab meat should be pearly and opaque.
  • Deli meat should be heated until steaming and never served cold, while you are pregnant or trying to conceive.
  • Clams, oysters, and mussels should cook until shells open – any that do not open should be thrown away.

*Cookware tip: Avoid cooking in plastic because plastic and other chemicals can migrate into food during cooking.



It’s important to store food properly – google image 

Some bacteria can grow even after food has been cooked. For this reason it’s important to store food properly.

  • Your refrigerator should be kept at 40 °F or lower and freezer at 0 °F or lower.
  • Store uncooked meat in the coldest part of the fridge and make sure blood does not drip onto other foods.
  • Frozen foods should be thawed in a microwave or fridge – never on the counter.
  • Food should not be kept at room temperature for longer than 2 hours, or under 1 hour if it’s hot.
  • If you’re storing large quantities of hot food, divide it into smaller portions so that it cools more quickly.

Source: Eatrightmama


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