Even if you typically know yourself to have a hardy construction and to not be particularly susceptible to illnesses or conditions like food poisoning, it’s important to understand that all that changes once you become pregnant.
Not only is a pregnant woman’s system more susceptible to infection than it normally would be, but unborn children (as well as newborns and infants) don’t have developed immune systems capable of fighting infection.
For this reason, food poisoning can easily result in miscarriage, birth complications, stillbirth, and more. The good news is that these tragedies can easily be prevented with a little care and diligence.
Proper Cleaning Practices
When you’re pregnant, there’s no such thing as too clean. Wash your hands frequently – especially before and after handling food, after being out in public, or after using the restroom. Also take extra special precautions when it comes to keeping countertops, refrigerators, and cutting surfaces clean and scrubbed.
Avoid Cross Contamination
One of the biggest causes of food poisoning is cross-contamination due to improper separation of raw foods and ready-to-eat foods. Never use the same cutting board to chop or slice produce that you would use to prepare raw meat, even if cutting boards are thoroughly cleaned in between uses. Store raw meats and poultry on the bottom shelf of your fridge in order to avoid juices dripping down and contaminating other items.
Proper Food Temperatures
Always make sure that meats, poultry, seafood, and egg products are thoroughly cooked to proper temperatures before consuming when you’re pregnant. Make sure all grocery store items requiring refrigeration are transported home quickly and refrigerated right away.
In the event you are pregnant and believe that you may have contracted food poisoning, it’s important to be safe rather than sorry and seek medical attention immediately.