Baby, Pregnancy, and Parenting Information

Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid if You Are Pregnant

Food and the pregnant woman… either the thought of it makes you hurl, or you can’t get enough of it, or you get woken up at 4 a.m. with cravings for nachos with jelly, or someone is telling you no! you can’t eat that!

It’s actually really important for pregnant women to be┬ácareful about food safety. Getting food poisoning is never fun, and it can be really serious if you are pregnant. Dehydration, a common complication of food poisoning, can affect the baby, deplete amniotic fluid levels, and even lead to premature labor. And and even more scary, is that some bacteria that cause food poisoning can cause severe birth defects.

Here’s some tips for having a safe holiday meal, and avoiding the most common causes of food positioning at Thanksgiving.

  • Turkey – make sure it’s cooked properly, all of it, all the way through, until the inside is 180F. Be careful when preparing the turkey. Defrost it properly in the refrigerator until it’s completely thawed before cooking. Also wash hands well after handling the turkey, and any utensils or surfaces that have come into contact with the raw bird or juices. Keep raw turkey, and other raw meats, wrapped, on lower levels of the refrigerator, and separated from other foods.
  • Stuffing – cook the stuffing or dressing in a separate dish outside the bird – the inside of a turkey just doesn’t get hot enough to kill any harmful bacteria.
  • Smoked meat, meat spreads, deli meat, pate, smoked salmon – avoid any of these products if they are from the chiller cabinet. These have been known to be contaminated with the listeria bacteria, which can cause serious birth defects if contracted by a pregnant woman. It’s OK to use meat products that are canned because they are sterilized in the can.
  • Leftovers – get them wrapped and stored in the refrigerators as quickly as possible, before any bacteria get a chance to grow. Don’t wait for them to go cold, you don’t need to, the fridge will chill them faster than they will get cold at room temperature. Get them in the fridge as soon as you can so you don’t forget.

More information about food safety for moms-to-be at the FDA’s website
Written by: Brit


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One Response to “Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid if You Are Pregnant”

  1. 1
    jessica Says:

    Deli meats are okay if you cooked them until they are steaming throughtout. This eliminates any harmful bacteria.

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