stressedwomanFood safety is doubly important during pregnancy because you need to protect yourself and your unborn baby. That’s a challenge because it’s harder for your body to fight off certain harmful microorganisms in food and your baby's immune system is not developed enough to protect itself.

Symptoms of foodborne illness may include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, fever, headache, or body aches. Sometimes you may not feel sick, but you can still pass the illness to your unborn child without knowing it.

When you’re cooking at home always wash your hands thoroughly with warm water and soap before and after handling food. To be safe, do not eat:

  • hot dogs and luncheon meats unless they're reheated until steaming hot
  • soft cheese, unless it's labeled as made with pasteurized milk
  • refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads
  • smoked seafood found in the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters unless it's in a cooked dish, such as a casserole
  • raw fish or foods made with raw fish
  • raw sprouts like alfalfa, clover, and radishes

When dining out, pay close attention to the type of food you order and how it's prepared. Always request that your food is cooked thoroughly, especially meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. When a hot meal is served it should be piping hot. If it's lukewarm, send it back. After your restaurant meal, you need to handle any leftovers with care. If you want a doggie bag but won't be arriving home within a reasonable amount of time, second-think those leftovers.

Avoid juices that are fresh squeezed and may not be pasteurized. Don’t choose menu items that might contain raw or undercooked eggs, like Caesar salad dressing, custards, and some sauces. If you're unsure about the ingredients, ask your server before ordering it.

With hot, cooked food that you order for takeout, get it home quickly and eat it right away. Delivered food should be eaten within 2 hours after it arrives to prevent harmful bacteria from multiplying.

If there is a food item you are uncertain about, as always, consult with your physician to ensure you are making the healthiest choices for you and your baby.

Northline Women's Health Center Locations:

15675 Northline Road

Southgate, MI 48195

(734) 282-3600
(734) 282-3603 - Fax

23050 West Road, Suite 210

Brownstown Twp., MI 48183

(734) 362-7000
(734) 362-7077 - Fax