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Is Sushi Still a No-No While Pregnant? What Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy


Pregnancy: Your Immune System and Foodborne Illness

From a growing belly to that famous glow, your body undergoes many transformations during pregnancy. Immune system changes also occur, putting you and your baby at an increased risk of foodborne illness. This makes some foods and beverages unsafe to consume.

  1. Raw or undercooked seafood -- such as sushi, raw oysters and ceviche -- may contain Listeria. Cooked fish is safe -- and full of protein vitamins and minerals -- but cook it to at least 145 degrees Farhrenheit.
  2. Raw milk and soft cheeses haven't been pasteurized to kill harmful bacteria like Listeria, E. coli and Salmonella. Stick to hard cheeses, like cheddar or Swiss.
  3. Unpasteurized juice and cider -- even fresh-squeezed -- have been connected to E. coli outbreaks. Go for a pasteurized version or boil for at least 1 minute before drinking.
  4. Undercooked eggs -- including those in raw batter, eggs benedict or tiramisu -- may contain Salmonella. Cook egg dishes to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, and cook standalone eggs until the yolks and whites are firm.
  5. Undercooked meat and poultry may contain E. coli, Salmonella, Campylobacter and Toxoplasma gondii. Cook to the minimum cooking temperature (for instance, 165 degrees Fahrenheit for turkey, chicken and duck).
  6. Precooked hot dogs, deli meats and fermented or dry sausages may contain Listeria. Even though they say they're precooked, reheat them to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit before eating.
  7. Premade meat and seafood salads -- including ham salad, chicken salad or seafood salad -- may contain Listeria and should be completely avoided.
  8. Raw sprouts -- including alfalfa, clover and radish -- may contain E. coli or Salmonella. Make sure to cook them before eating.
  9. Refrigerated pâtés and meat spreads may contain Listeria. Stick with ones from cans jars or sealed pouches -- and make sure to refrigerate after opening.
  10. Alcohol, while not a food, can disrupt the healthy development of your baby -- and should be avoided completely throughout pregnancy.

Do you have questions about keeping your baby healthy during pregnancy? Call 610-738-2300 to find an Ob/Gyn provider at Chester County Hospital.



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