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What food and drink should I avoid?


 - What food and drink should I avoid?

-Alcohol increases the risk of premature birth and, at worst, FAS (Fetal Alcohol Syndrome). FAS causes retarded physical and mental development, problems with the heart and nervous system and facial deformations. Opinions vary, but drinking more than a glass of wine a day can put your baby in danger. Abstention is recommended by some, while others say alcohol does no harm. Make sure you avoid having more than one alcoholic drink at a time if you must, and stop drinking if you can.  

- Be aware of listeriosis. Unpasteurized milk can contain a type of bacteria that can be dangerous for pregnant women. Listeria is found in a natural environment (earth, plants, etc) and is destroyed by cooking and pasteurizing. The following foods are not recommended: unpasteurized milk, seafood and paté.  If you’re unsure what something contains (raw eggs, mayonnaise, etc), you should avoid them.

- Be careful of your personal hygiene. Go for food that is wrapped, wash your hands, and pay attention to use-by dates.  

- Be aware of the risks of salmonella. Salmonella is most commonly found in eggs and poultry which aren’t cooked enough. Make sure anything you eat has been thoroughly cooked.

- Wash your hands thoroughly before every meal, put food straight back in the fridge and don’t leave things in your fridge for too long. Clean your fridge every couple of weeks with bleach. After handling raw food, wash your hands as well as all your kitchen utensils. If you’re unsure about whether something is OK to eat, be on the safe side and go for something else.

- To reduce the risk of toxoplasmosis, avoid undercooked or bloody meat, stay away from pets, don’t clean your pets’ litter out yourself, make sure you wash fruit, veg and herbs thoroughly, make sure anything that has been in contact with the earth (veg, herbs, etc) is cooked through, garden with gloves on and wash your hands thoroughly after contact with soil.


Sarah Horrocks
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