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

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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
Replies (11-19):
by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 10:22 AM

lol. My family uses nothing but raw goat products, yet have never had any type of issues while pregnant. We make a lot of our own cheese, so that does make a difference, in my opinion, because we know exactly how it's made.

The only type of meat by product we eat is the occasional uncured duck bacon, but we may eat it a few times a year. No biggie there.

I had to laugh about raw veggies. That's how most of our veggies are consumed.

I didn't consume caffeine nor did I drink alcohol.

by Platinum Member on Feb. 27, 2014 at 10:44 AM

I ate everything and anything. I didn't really follow the rules at all with my second pregnancy except I didn't drink. 

by Thatwoman on Feb. 27, 2014 at 11:52 AM

Very serious.

Listeria is a serious risk, particularly for miscarriage.

Washing raw vegetables solves the problem, but there are cultures in the world who have lived for a long time without refridgeration of any kind, who would NEVER eat raw (or even cold) foods, because of the real risk that poses.

Any reason to stop eating hot dogs is a good one, imo. 

by on Feb. 27, 2014 at 12:32 PM

Eh. I did until my 3rd trimester. Then I was like screw it - I think I ate deli turkey sandwiches 3 times a week. And goat cheese. And pretty much anything else except uncooked sushi. It just didn't appeal to me. About once a week I'd drink a can of coke (which I never did before or again after - I think I was just craving the cold, sugary, bubbly drink) and whenever I did it was so fun beause DS bounced around like a nut in my belly, doing crazy sommersaults and poking limbs though my skin alien-style. Yeah. He liked the coke too.  ;)

by Bruja on Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:19 AM

I drank a small amount of coffee then just drank decaf, which ade me sad. Everything else I ate was pasteurized and well cooked

by Silver Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:21 AM
I take it all seriously .im 21 weeks
by Bella on Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:30 PM

When I was pregnant, I took it very seriously.

by Bronze Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 12:39 PM
I had never heard about raw veggies being included in this list. I ate a ton of those both my previous pregnancies.

I heat lunch meat to steaming and it's safe to eat. I still eat sushi because there are plenty of rolls that contain no meat or fish. Plus i prefer crab and shrimp rolls to any other kind. I ate cooked hot dogs.

by Silver Member on Feb. 28, 2014 at 4:03 PM
Four and a half million babies are born in the US every year. Two pregnant woman and three babies became ill from listeria.

With statistics like that, you're just as likely to be struck by lightning on a sunny day.

I ate whatever I wanted while pregnant, and have 5 healthy children.
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