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Thanksgiving Foods to Watch Out For While Pregnant

Eating for Two This Holiday Season? Mind the Thanksgiving Food Safety Rules.

Thanksgiving is a wonderful time to spend with family. While you may be prepared to partake in food and fun and use the old “I’m eating for two” excuse, be mindful of what you are eating. Needless to say, alcohol is off the menu this holiday season, but there are also a few Thanksgiving foods that pregnant women should approach with caution or avoid altogether. We’ve compiled an easy to follow list to help you prepare.

Avoid

  1. Soft cheese. Cheeses like brie, havarti, camembert, queso fresco and goat cheese can pose a risk of listeria because they are made with unpasteurized milk. To be on the safe side, keep them off your plate.
  2. Homemade sauces and dressings. Many homemade sauces contain raw eggs, which may be contaminated with salmonella. So be sure to steer clear of Hollandise unless you are positive that it is made without eggs.
  3. Raw batter or dough. Undoubtedly, most of us enjoy holiday baking. Just remember, no matter how tempting that cookie dough looks, it is likely made with raw eggs and is unsafe for an expectant mother.
  4. Pate and certain smoked meats or fish. These can be dangerous as they may be contaminated with listeria.
  5. Eggnog. Since it may contain raw eggs, pass the eggnog this holiday.
  6. Homemade apple cider. As much as you want to take a sip of that aromatic homemade cider, skip it or opt for a store bought version. Homemade ciders are not pasteurized and may pose a risk of e-coli.

Approach with caution

  1. Turkey. As any poultry, turkey is prone to breeding dangerous bacteria. Undercooked turkey can pose a risk of salmonella and other food borne illnesses. Be sure that turkey is cooked thoroughly until internal temperature reaches a minimum of 160°F.
  2. Stuffing. Since stuffing is frequently prepared inside of turkey, consuming it poses the same threats as consuming undercooked turkey does, so follow directions and keep an eye on that meat thermometer.
  3. Raw vegetables. Although pregnant women are always encouraged to consume los of fresh fruits and vegetables, they should be careful. Raw vegetables may be exposed to toxoplasmosis. If the produce is not washed properly, you and your baby may be exposed to it as well. Toxoplasmosis is caused by a parasite and poses a risk of serious illness and miscarriage.
Thanksgiving is traditionally a time to indulge. While you may allow yourself to go back for seconds, watch what you eat and be sure to follow basic food safety rules. References Food to Avoid During Pregnancy. (2013, January). Retrieved November 8, 2013, from American Pregnancy Association: http://americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyhealth/foodstoavoid.html   Safe and Healthy Eading During Pregnancy. (2011, November). Retrieved November 8, 2013, from North Dakota State University: http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/yf/foods/fn657.pdf   Weiss, R. (2013). Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid in Pregnancy. Retrieved November 8, 2013, from  About.com Pregnancy and Childbirth: http://pregnancy.about.com/od/nutritioninpregn/a/thanksgiving.-KIq.htm
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