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Food Safety and Pregnancy: What You Need to Know for a Healthy Pregnancy

If you or someone you care about is pregnant, what can you do to make sure that the food the mother eats is safe?

Pregnant women are among the high-risk groups of people who have to be extra careful to avoid food-borne illness. During pregnancy, the immune system is weakened. This makes is harder for the body's natural defenses to protect both mother and fetus from microorganisms.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's newly updated food safety web site, http://foodsafety.gov/, offers both at-a-glance and in-depth resources on food safety information for women who are pregnant or thinking of getting pregnant. Just click on "Keep Food Safe," then "For Specific Groups of People." It offers basic steps for keeping food safe, as well as information on specific risks related to pregnancy, such as Listeria, methylmercury and toxoplasma.

Other at-risk groups who can find targeted information on the Web site include older adults and persons with chronic illnesses. And foodsafety.gov offers a boatload of other information on just about anything you can think of related to food safety. Among the offerings:

Downloadable educational materials, news releases, and industry information related to inspections and compliance are also available. Check it out the next time you have a food safety question or concern.

This article originally appeared in Chow Line (9/27/2009) a service of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center and was adapted for use on NetWellness with permission, 2008.

For more information:

Go to the Pregnancy health topic, where you can:

Last Reviewed: Oct 08, 2009

Lydia   Medeiros, PhD Lydia Medeiros, PhD
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University