Can I eat cheese while pregnant?


I think every pregnant woman should be issued a taser and a wheel of brie.

The  taser for people who ask "Haven't you had that baby yet?!" and the  wheel of brie because, hey, when can you consume about 800 calories in  one sitting and be able to blame any weight on another person?

Listeria  is the big worry. Listeriosis is a severe bacterial infection caused by  Listeria monocytogenes and can be found naturally in soil,  decaying vegetation, and in the intestinal tract of most mammals. Foods  that can be contaminated by it include cole slaw, hot dogs, deli meats,  chicken, and non-pasteurized dairy products.

Center of Disease  Control claims that pregnant women are 20 times more likely to become  infected than non-pregnant healthy adults. When someone ingests  contaminated food, L. monocytogenes gets into the bloodstream and  spreads to other organs, including the placenta. It's nasty. You don't  want it and if you read the articles on listeria you will be amazed that  any of us made it here considering how common it is and how deadly it  can be.

Where you lose me is the obsession with soft cheese –  such as brie or camembert, and blue-veined cheeses, like danish blue and  stilton. It seems to be on every no-no list yet the risk applies to the unpasteurized varieties and not the ones that you're most likely to find at your grocery store. There is some talk around the ripening process, but it's a pretty perfect storm that could affect anything you consume cold or raw.

Unpasteurized cheeses and the sale and consumption of  raw dairy products are severely restricted in North America. Since 1949,  the US government has forbidden the sale of cheeses made from  unpasteurized milk unless the cheese is aged at least 60 days (the idea  being that after 60 days the acids and salt in the cheese will kill off  any harmful bacteria). So you're actually hard pressed to find any soft  cheese that isn't pasteurized these days.

Check the packaging or  ask if the cheese is pasteurized. If it is, take the maternity waistband  for a test drive and roll out the cheese wheel darlin'. Be sure to  taser anyone that comes near it.

search: soft cheese pregnancy, unpasteurized cheeses, listeria pregnancy

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Can I eat soft ice cream when pregnant?


Really, soft ice cream?! I thought that was a mandatory staple of pregnancy – well, okay, maybe just mine.

Anyway, some people have heard of this one and some people are reading this (possibly while eating a Peanut Buster Parfait) and thinking WTF?!

Once again listeria is the fear here.

Listeria monocytogenes has the potential to be present in all raw foods. So really, if you plan to eat during your pregnancy, you run the risk of coming in contact with listeria. It's one of the nastier bacterias and  pregnant women are 20 times more likely to become infected than non-pregnant healthy adults. I talk about it a little more in soft cheese.

Here are the two ways you could potentially pick up listeria through soft serve.

One is through contaminated milk but most countries have strict regulations about the commercial sale of milk so it has most likely been pasteurized which would kill most, if not all, of the bacteria.

The second reason they pick on soft-serve is because there is more potential for contamination post-pasteurization than there is with hard ice cream. So, soft-serve ice cream mix is stored and transported at refrigeration temperatures and listeria can survive in that kind of environment. Plus, if it is run through a dirty machine or the jerk ahead of you at a self-serve machine has traces of stuff that would make Purell shudder, then you can pick it up.

Since self-pasteurizing machines have been introduced in the many of the major fast food organizations, the incidence of contamination is relatively uncommon.

The nitty gritty. Yep, it is possible but the risks are still very, very low.

search: listeria in soft serve ice cream

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Is it safe to eat hot dogs and cold cuts while pregnant?

Okay, do me a favour, don't Google "listeria and pregnancy." You will be rocking in the corner and you won't eat.

Here's the deal: Listeria monocytogenes is everywhere. It's in decaying vegetation, soil, animal feces, sewage and contaminated food. Cooking kills the bacteria. However, it can sneak into many ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and deli meats because contamination may occur after cooking and before packaging.

Now, even though listeria is everywhere, non-pregnant healthy adults are highly resistant to it. The reason pregnant woman are told to avoid potentially contaminated food is because they are about 20 times more likely to get listeriosis than other healthy adults (some say it's because they have a suppressed immune system). If left untreated, listeriosis can affect your pregnancy and, in rare cases, it can lead to miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth.

Cooking food thoroughly will destroy this pathogen so boil that wiener, Honey! Steamy salami may not be as appealing, so you'll have to decide whether or not you want to walk on the wild side there.

The symptoms of listeriosis are often flu-like and can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and a high fever. They usually appear within two to 30 days, but it can take up to 90 days to get sick after someone has eaten contaminated food. If you think you might have been infected, you can have a blood test and if the results are positive, you will most likely be given a course of antibiotics.

I'm not even going to get into nitrates and sodium here. There's all kinds of crap in delicious food that none of us should eat. We all know it's bad but it still tastes good, so whatever. You're pregnant, not stupid.

Oh, and if you decide to give up baloney but still want to help out on a farm during lambing season, you just whoa nelly. It seems that it's very easy to pick up listeriosis from newborn lambs. An interesting WTF fact that couldn't be ignored.

Um, I thought I told you not to search this?! Okay, I searched: listeria pregnancy, cold cuts pregnancy, deli meats pregnancy, luncheon meats pregnancy, listeriosis

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