Food Poisoning During Pregnancy - Topic Overview
Other food poisoning
Pregnant women may become much
more ill from food poisoning than other people, so it is important that you
prevent food poisoning in your home by taking precautions when preparing and
storing foods. Perishable foods, such as eggs, meats, poultry, fish, shellfish,
milk, and milk products, should be treated with extra care.
U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends the following steps to prevent food
- Shop safely. Bag raw meat, poultry, or fish
separately from other food items. Drive home immediately after finishing your
shopping so that you can store all foods properly.
- Prepare foods
safely. Wash your hands before and after handling food. Also wash them after
using the bathroom or changing diapers. Wash fresh fruits and vegetables by
rinsing them well with running water. If possible, use two cutting boards—one
for fresh produce and the other for raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Otherwise,
be sure to wash the cutting board with hot, soapy water between each use. You
can also wash your knives and cutting boards in the dishwasher to disinfect
- Store foods safely. Cook, refrigerate, or freeze meat,
poultry, eggs, fish, and ready-to-eat foods within 2 hours. Make sure your
refrigerator is set at
40°F (4°C) or colder.
- Cook foods safely. Use a clean meat thermometer to determine
whether foods are cooked to a safe temperature. Reheat leftovers to at least
165°F (74°C). Do not eat
undercooked hamburger, and be aware of the risk of food poisoning from raw fish
(including sushi), clams, and oysters.
- Serve foods safely. Keep
cooked hot foods hot [140°F (60°C) or above] and cold foods cold [40°F (4°C) or below].
- Follow labels on food packaging.
Food packaging labels provide information about when to use the food and how to
store it. Reading food labels and following safety instructions will reduce
your chances of becoming ill with food poisoning.
- When in doubt, throw it out. If you are not sure whether a food
is safe, don't eat it. Reheating food that is contaminated will not make it
safe. Don't taste suspicious food. It may smell and look fine but still may not
be safe to eat.