Australia updates food safety tips for pregnant women
Pregnant women should avoid unpasteurized fruit juices as well as hummus and other dips containing tahini, according to updated advice in Australia.
The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) guide also states that pregnant women should not eat raw sprouts, raw eggs or soft cheeses unless they are well cooked.
It is also important to follow food safety guidelines when preparing and storing food.
Raw eggs can contain salmonella and should therefore be avoided. They can be in smoothies, mayonnaise, or desserts like mousse. Hummus and tahini can be contaminated with Salmonella and should not be eaten. Sprouts from raw seeds may contain E. coli, Salmonella or Listeria and should be avoided or cooked thoroughly before eating.
Pregnant women should also avoid pasteurized soft or semi-soft white cheeses like brie, camembert, feta, blue cheese, mozzarella and ricotta unless unpasteurized dairy products, oysters, pre salads. – packaged and soft serve ice cream are well cooked due to potential Listeria infection.
There are also tips on what to eat if you are expecting a baby. This includes lots of well washed fruits and vegetables, whole grain breads and cereals, moderate amounts of low fat dairy products, lean meats, chicken and fish, dried beans, lentils and others. legumes and a variety of nuts and seeds.
Updated NZ Tips
The move in Australia follows updated research and advice from the New Zealand government on pregnancy and food safety. Check out the full list of foods here.
Foodborne illness can make both mother and baby sick and, in extreme cases, cause severe illness, premature birth, stillbirth, or death of newborns.
The focus was on Listeria monocytogenes, Toxoplasma gondii, methylmercury and caffeine, as these are hazards known to have specific effects on the fetus. Pregnant women have lower levels of immunity than usual and are therefore more at risk for diseases like toxoplasmosis.
Plain cakes, slices and muffins can be eaten, but those with cream or cream should be avoided unless the cream is newly opened and the cream is homemade and fresh.
Whole melons should be washed and dried thoroughly before cutting, and frozen berries cooked before eating.
Leftovers should be stored covered in the refrigerator and consumed within two days. They should be warmed to at least 70 degrees C (158 degrees F).
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