8 festive foods to be careful of during pregnancy
Some eggnog contains brandy, so you should be careful to ask when it’s offered what the ingredients are.
It’s advised to avoid soft, unpasteurised cheeses during pregnancy, as they can carry a bacteria called listeria, which can harm unborn babies. Although listeria infections are very rare during pregnancy, it is advised to avoid these cheeses all the same to avoid the risk. The only way of destroying the listeria bacteria is to cook food thoroughly. It is therefore only considered safe to eat blue-veined cheeses and mould-ripened cheeses if they have been cooked thoroughly until they are piping hot, such as on the top of a pizza, or in a quiche. You can eat processed cheeses such as Cheddar, Gruyere, Edam, Gouda, Parmesan, Cheshire Emmenthal, Cottage cheese and Processed cream cheese such as Philadelphia, Laughing cow, etc, but avoid mould-ripened soft cheeses- such as brie, camembert and others with a similar rind, including goats’ cheese and soft blue-veined cheeses – such as Danish blue, gorgonzola and roquefort.
Deli meats such as cold cuts should be steamed before eating. This also applied to hot dogs. Mkae sure to steam to a high heat to make sure bateria is killed before eating.
It is recommended you avoid all types of pâté, including vegetable pâtés, while pregnant, as they can contain the bacteria listeria, which can harm unborn babies.
Undercooked turkey and ham
Home cooked meats are fine to eat – as long as they’re cooked through and eaten while hot. When it comes to stuffing, it must be cooked separately from the rest of the poultry, and also eaten hot.
It is safe to eat smoked fish while pregnant, but there are some types of it that you are advised to limit while pregnant, such as tuna and oily fish, and some you should avoid completely, such as shark. Avoid eating raw shellfish totally, as it can cause food poisoning.
Raw shellfish is a no no in pregnancy. But you can eat shellfish if is it cooked thoroughly and eaten when hot. You can tell when prawns are cooked as they will turn a pinky-red and the flesh becomes opaque.
Home made ice cream/Custard
When eating ice cream over the holidays make sure the ice cream you eat is pasteurised and from a tub and not home-made, as home made ice cream is made with raw eggs, which should be avoided in pregnancy due to salmonella. It is also best to avoid eating mousse or fresh mayonnaise from delis or restaurants, as these may contain raw egg. However, supermarket salad dressings and ice creams are usually made using pasteurised egg, so are safe to eat. With custard, the same rule applies. Make sure it is store bought and check that the eggs were pasteurised.