8 tips to avoid food poisoning during pregnancy

1 Apr 2019

You’re pregnant now and what you eat is what your baby eats – so make extra sure that your food is safe for you both!                    

Keeping your unborn baby safe is now your top priority as an expectant mother. Food poisoning is already a bad experience without a growing baby inside you and it’s even worse with one, due to the added stress factors and the well-being of the little one to consider.

There are six simple rules that you can follow to ensure that you and baby will never have to suffer food poisoning:

  1. Keep your hands clean at all times. If you’re handling food, ensure to wash your hands thoroughly – especially after playing with your pets, changing diapers, using the toilet and working out in the garden. Soaps are your friend throughout your pregnancy.
  2. Before you’re pregnant the 5-second food-on-the-floor rule may seem like an acceptable one to live by, and eating food only a few days past their expiry date may seem okay, but don’t do it when you’re pregnant! Make sure to check best before dates, and rinse fruit and vegetables well before eating them.
  3. All food, and meat especially, should be cooked well and all the way through.
  4. Most bacteria will be killed at 100°C and so it’s important to reheat leftover dishes as hot as possible, but make sure not to reheat the same leftovers more than once. Two day old leftovers are acceptable to eat, but don’t try to eat them after that.
  5. Make sure hot foods are consumed hot and cold foods consumed cold.
  6. If you’re planning to eat the rest of your meal later, refrigerate it as soon as it is room temperature. Food and drink that are left out in the heat is a recipe for food poisoning, especially if uncovered because insects are able to spread bacteria onto them.
  7. Raw meats and food not intended to be cooked, such as vegetables for a salad, must be prepared and stored separately. This means separate chopping boards, utensils and even storing the uncooked vegetables above the raw meats in the fridge.
  8. Don’t thaw meat out on the counter or in the sink, opt for the microwave or the fridge to avoid external contaminants coming into contact with it.

Food poisoning is not fun for anyone. Keep your hands and foods as clean as possible to avoid you and your unborn baby going through this experience.