Every pregnant woman is well-informed about the significance of healthy eating during pregnancy. Most expectant moms have a list of nutritious foods they should eat and should not eat. If you have such a long list, well done, girl! But, that is not enough. You need to make sure that you don’t get food poisoning during pregnancy. Because it can result in serious health issues like vomiting and diarrhea. This, in turn, causes your body to lose too much water and disrupts your body’s chemical balance.
Apart from avoiding certain foods, you need to take a few steps for food safety. You may find these as simple instructions. But, some of these safety measures we forget to take when you are busy with your office and household work. Read on and make sure that you have taken all the precautions.
Keep It Clean
Unwashed fruit and vegetables will lead to diseases without any doubt. To save yourself from that, wash fruits and vegetables under running tap water before you use them. As far as personal hygiene is considered, wash your hands with soap and water before and after handling raw food.
Also, keep your kitchen clean. Uncooked foods may bring in bacteria or parasite to your kitchen. Don’t forget to wash your utensils, cutting board, and countertops with soap and hot water after you handle uncooked food. Another option is to sanitize them by applying a solution of 1 teaspoon of liquid chlorine bleach per gallon of water.1 Keep the surface to dry.
Segregate Food Types
When you stock up your kitchen with ready-to-eat foods, ensure that they are far from raw meat, poultry, eggs, and seafood. Buy a different cutting board for raw meat, poultry, and seafood. Even while cooking never place cooked food on the same plate that previously held raw food. Wash the plates thoroughly with hot, spicy water. This is to protect them from harmful bacteria from raw food.
It is best to separate raw meat, seafood, and poultry from other produce in your shopping cart or grocery bags. Put them in plastic bags if possible.
Cook It Hot
Well, this tip may seem too much for you. But, when it comes to the safety of your baby, we are sure you will go to any extreme. According to the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, you should use a food thermometer to check the doneness of meat, poultry, seafood, and egg products. The food thermometer should be placed in the thickest part of the food, away from bone, fat, and gristle. Cooking them to a safe minimum internal temperature will be healthy for you. Remember to bring sauces, soups, and gravy to a boil when reheating.
Also, after removing meat from the grill or oven, allow it to rest for some time. The rest time is important because during this time its temperature remains constant or continues to rise, which will eventually banish harmful bacteria.2 For instance, beef, pork, veal, lamb, steaks, roasts, and chops need 145 ºF with 3-minute rest time.
According to ACOG food safety instructions, thaw food in the refrigerator, microwave, or in cold water. Don’t do it in hot water and don’t thaw food at room temperature by keeping it on the countertop. And keep your refrigerator at 40°F or below and the freezer at 0°F or below. Turns out, cold temperature is effective in slowing down the growth of deadly bacteria.
Never leave food at room temperature for more than 2 hours. Make it a habit to buy eggs from a refrigerator or refrigerated case and use within 3–5 weeks. It is better to store eggs in the refrigerator in their original carton.
As a pregnant woman, you should learn how to protect yourself and your unborn baby from foodborne illness. Follow every instruction and do your best to ensure food safety. Enjoy happy, healthy pregnancy!