Pregnancy and the Fourth of July: Foods to AvoidMeredith Carroll
Fireworks are fun, except when they’re happening in your pregnant belly and the cause has nothing to do with excitement or a kicking baby.
Some foods are safer than others during pregnancy, and some need to be avoided altogether. Don’t take a chance during the long holiday weekend when you might be indulging a bit more than usual at barbecues and picnics
Here’s a list of the most common 4th of July foods for pregnant women to steer clear of:
Refrigerated, Ready-To-Eat Foods 1 of 6There's something so summery and yummy about egg salad, chicken salad, and seafood and some exotic pasta salads. But food contaminated with listeria is particularly hazardous during pregnancy, and many salads with protein will be served in picnic-like settings, which practically guarantees they won't be heated or refrigerated to the proper temperature. Don't eat anything not served on a hot plate or on ice or unless you can ensure that it's been sitting out for less than an hour if it's very hot out. Be sure to discard leftovers four days after preparation.
Hot Dogs 2 of 6Hot dogs aren't wonderful during pregnancy to begin with, given their high concentration of nitrates as well as fat and sodium. But they're particularly bad for pregnant women unless they're consumed right after being taken off the grill or are served steaming hot (cooked to at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit) to ensure all bacteria present has been killed. Beware, too, of the juice that comes in the package — don't let it come in contact with food that won't be cooked.
Burgers, Grilled Meat, Fish 3 of 6A good barbecue can't be beat, but for pregnant women, all protein must not be consumed unless the pink has been cooked out. E. coli, salmonella and toxoplasma can be found in undercooked meat — all of which are extraordinarily dangerous for your unborn baby. Make sure ground beef, veal, lamb and pork are cooked to at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit, chicken breasts 170 degrees Fahrenheit, and fish 145 degrees Fahrenheit. Using a food thermometer is advised since the color of the food isn't always the best indicator that it's safe to eat.
Ice Cream 4 of 6Ice cream and pregnancy go hand-in-hand, yes? No, actually. Well, at least not if it's the homemade kind created with raw eggs. Freezing doesn't kill bacteria. Period.
Ice 5 of 6Be sure the ice that goes into your drink is clean, and it's not the ice that was used to keep the meat cold. Bacteria loves ice (see Ice Cream).
Raw Sprouts 6 of 6Raw sprouts make a great garnish, but they have been known to carry E. coli or salmonella. Make sure sprouts of all kinds as well as raw vegetables have been washed thoroughly.