Can I eat bagged salad while pregnant?

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C'mon! In one breath you tell me to eat better now that I'm pregnant but then you tell me not to eat pre-washed salad. I suppose I should just stick to the leafy greens growing in my organic hippy commune. Pfft.

Not unlike rare meat and raw eggs this one is because of salmonella and E. coli.

So the lettuce grows in the ground with all the dirt and manure and the manure might be contaminated. The lettuce is picked, washed and bagged and sold to you. If it's not washed so well, you eat the contaminated lettuce and get sick. I couldn't find out how this affects a fetus. The only way that I could see it threatening your unborn baby is if you're up all night puking, you get dehydrated to a point of hospitalization, then you could miscarry. Wouldn't the same thing happen if you bought a head of lettuce from the store, ran it under that tap for 2 seconds (or just check it for dirt then eat it like I do. Bad, bad, I know.) and got yourself some food poisoning too? I dunno, it all seems like a bit of a stretch for me but, then again, I hate washing lettuce and I really like salad. Use this excuse when you want to eat french fries instead.

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Can I handle my lizard while I'm pregnant?

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Congratulations, after researching this post, I'm officially a nerd.

Reptiles include turtles, iguanas, snakes, geckos, toads and chameleons.

Once again salmonella is the culprit here.

The stats were all over the place with this one, but it seems that 85% of all turtles, 77% of lizards, and 92% of snakes carry salmonella. It doesn't cause any illness in reptiles, but it can make you pretty "ew".

For Salmonella to spread from reptiles to humans, the bacteria must be ingested. This most often occurs when humans place their hands on the reptile or objects that have been in contact with the stool of reptiles; then they place their hands in their mouths, or on objects or food they put in their mouths, and can become infected.

I didn't find a whole heck of a lot on pregnant women being at danger but it was a different story when it came to children under five. Yikes. I'm surprised there aren't "Ban the Turtle" signs in Baby Gap. Salmonella is usually not serious in healthy adults, but children, the elderly, and people with weak immune systems like those with HIV and AIDS or who are undergoing chemotherapy are more likely to develop severe infections.

That said, salmonella is everywhere. I think they pick on reptiles more than, let's say raw eggs, because the probability of one being a carrier is much higher and is, therefore, considered a greater risk. The Center for Disease Control recommends washing your hands after handling a reptile, not letting it wander around your home freely (that would be so awesome – rogue iguana) and not allowing them into the kitchen or on surfaces used for food preparation – gee, ya think? Just when I was going to let the boa constrictor empty the dishwasher.

Man, the way some of the sites got hysterical about it, I think I'm going to carry around a little baggie of turtle feces in my purse as protection from potential attackers. I'll scream "back off, I've got turtle shit and I'm not afraid to use it!". I figure the attacker will either be scared and run away or just figure I'm crazy and not worth killing. Either way, win win.

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Raw eggs and pregnancy: is it all what it's cracked up to be?

At first I didn't think anyone would care much about raw eggs. I mean, who really eats them that often except maybe Mr. Olympia wannabes?

Then a reader pointed out that cookie dough would have raw eggs in it. Sweet hammer of Thor, this one had to be addressed immediately! Raw eggs are in everything wonderful – brownie mix, caesar salad (sometimes), homemade mayonnaise (if you're Martha Stewart) and cookie dough.

So Salmonella is the potential bacteria here. 

Salmonella bacteria is everywhere and it spreads easily. The bacteria can be found in the intestinal tracts of animals, birds, reptiles, insects and people. While the egg itself may not be contaminated when you buy it, it can become contaminated from improper handling with unclean hands, pets, other foods and kitchen equipment.

If you eat an egg containing salmonella, you may experience abdominal cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, chills, fever and/or headache within 6 to 72 hours after consuming it. You're usually over it within 4 to 7 days and it doesn't affect your baby directly. Dehydration is the bigger concern so keep watch for that if you have a prolonged assplosion going on.

Scientists estimate that, on average across the U.S., only 1 of every 20,000 eggs might contain the bacteria so, if you’re an average consumer, you might encounter a contaminated egg once every 84 years. Furthermore, in the U.S., eggshells are washed and sanitized to remove possible hazards that could be deposited on the outside of an egg.

There are over 2,500 known types, but the three most common ones are Typhimurium, Enteritidis, and Typhi.  From what I can gather, the samonella that affects eggs is Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium. Salmonella typhi (from the folks that brought you Salmonella enterica enterica and Darryl and his other brother Darryl) is the type that causes typhoid fever and it's relatively uncommon in developed countries.

Confusing, non?

Dear Science Nerds, OPI comes up with names for every single one of their nail polishes so maybe you could come up with a better distinction between a bacteria that give you the trots for two days and something that can kill you? Just sayin'.

As for our beloved cookie dough, it seems unlikely that you would come across a contaminated egg and it doesn't sound like it's all that awful if you did. Once again, I'm sure somebody somewhere has some horror story about an egg "incident" but I'm sure there's somebody somewhere that knows somebody that died from a paper cut – perhaps from the cutalingus cutalingus bacteria. *snort*

search: raw eggs salmonella, raw egg dangers, salmonella pregnancy, s. typhimurium, s. enteritidis

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