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How seriously do you take warnings about food contamination and pregnancy?

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Posted by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:04 AM
  • 19 Replies

Scary Tainted Cheese Is Making Moms & Their Babies Sick

by Adriana Velez

mexican cheeseYou know how doctors are always advising pregnant women not to eat soft cheese because if it's contaminated, it could cross the placenta? Fans of soft cheese are always quick to point out that incidents of food poisoning from cheese are actually quite rare ... -ish. Oh, by the way, I'm one of those people. But a recent food poisoning story is making me reconsider. Eight people have recently become ill from cheese contaminated with listeria. One of those people died. Of the illnesses, there are two pairs of mothers and newborns, plus a third newborn. In all three cases, it appears the newborns were exposed to the listeria in the womb.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) isn't saying whether it was one of the newborn babies who died. But regardless, it's enough to know the babies were ill enough to be admitted to a hospital. And I think we all know a newborn is going to have a harder time fighting off bacterial contamination than a healthy adult will. Should this one incident make pregnant women take the risk of listeria from contaminated foods more seriously?

According to the CDC, about 14 percent of cases of listeria contamination happen during pregnancy. Pregnant women are about 10 times more likely to become ill from listeria contamination than the general population. That means it's not just the baby you have to worry about (though contamination puts you at risk of miscarriage and early delivery); being pregnant makes you more vulnerable to contamination as well.

The list of foods commonly associated with listeria include under-cooked hot dogs, cold cuts, cured sausage, smoked seafood, store-made salads with ham, chicken, or seafood, raw vegetables, and yes -- soft cheeses made from unpasteurized/raw milk.

Wait, raw vegetables, too? Oy vey.

If you're concerned about food contamination and pregnancy, you should definitely consult your doctor. Nearly every OB/GYN and midwife has lists of foods you shouldn't eat and strong opinions about what's safe and what is not. When I was pregnant, I took the warnings lightly -- and I was lucky. But if I were to do it over again, I think I'd be more cautious this time.

How seriously do you take warnings about food contamination and pregnancy?

by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:04 AM
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Replies (1-10):
by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:09 AM
when pregnant I took it all exceedingly seriously and did nothing I thought to be risky.
by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:15 AM
I take it all seriously. There's other foods to eat and it's not that long a period of time. If it means giving my baby an extra chance then I'll do it.
by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:23 AM
I didn't take chances. I avoided caffeine, soft cheese and deli meats to name a few.
by Bronze Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:24 AM

With both of my boys I do the food warnings very seriously because I didn't want anymore complications during my pregnanices.

by Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:27 AM
DD is pregnant and she takes it very serious. She drives me nuts with it.
by Platinum Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:33 AM

I didn't take it very seriously and i don't know whether or not i would in my next pregnancy.

by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:37 AM
1 mom liked this

 I had my kids in the late 60's and early 70's. Back then there were very few warnings. I knew I shouldn't drink but that was about the only thing. We didn't hear all the warnings about things such as bleu cheese dressing, etc. My kids were all healthy.  I used my own judgment. But really I think there is too much panic going on nowdays. I don't know how anyone can enjoy being pregnant!

by Platinum Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 9:39 AM
I did avoid cold meat and soft cheese with this last pregnancy - and sushi. All I had to do was heat up the meat to steaming and could eat it, soft cheeses are relatively easy to avoid. But it really is rare, even if cases make the news. I absolutely did not avoid raw veggies: salads, bell peppers and tomatoes particularly.
Why do people keep mentioning caffeine as though it is in the same category? That I didn't give up, doc said limit it.
oh, and I didn't get the deli meat warning when I was pregnant with my daughter 11 years ago...Subway was the only chain restaurant in my isolated town and I ate there practically every other day.
by Gold Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 10:04 AM

I didn't completely avoid them. I drank one cup of coffee per day, instead of 2. I don't like unmelted cheese, texture thing. I only had deli meats once or twice during my pregnancies. Being pregnant through the hot summers meant that every once in a while, I heeded the call of Mr. Softee.

by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 10:15 AM
I followed exactly what my doctor said because I didn't gain more than a few pounds because I was so incredibly sick. 90 minutes after my son was born, I sent my husband after sashimi, Stilton and crackers, a coke zero, and Hendrick's gin.

He also brought me tiramisu
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