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How to avoid listeria in pregnancy

During your pregnancy, hormonal changes in your body lower your immune system and can make you susceptible to different types of bacteria. 

Listeria Monocytogenes is a type of bacteria which occurs naturally in water and soil. It is widespread in the environment and can contaminate certain high risk foods that have not been properly cooked or properly prepared or stored. It is important to know, that Listeria can also be present in those high risk foods even if they have been refrigerated.

Due to your lowered immunity during pregnancy, you are 20 times more likely to develop Listeriosis compared with a normal healthy adult. The risk of infection seems to be the highest in the third trimester.

Listeriosis can develop within 2 to 30 days of consumption of contaminated food.

Common symptoms include flu – like symptoms, such as fever, chills, muscle aches and pains, vomiting and diarrhea.

Higher risk foods include:

  • Cold (cooked) chicken
  • Cold processed meats
  • Soft and semi soft cheese such as Brie, Camembert, feta, ricotta and blue vein cheese.
  • Unpasteurized milk and dairy products
  • Raw seafood and cold smoked salmon
  • Pre prepared and pre packed salads
  • Pate, including vegetable pate
  • Raw eggs
  • Soft serve ice cream
  • Tofu
  • Sushi

Safer alternatives include:

  • Freshly cooked seafood, meat and chicken that is steaming hot
  • Hard cheeses and pasteurized dairy products
  • Canned foods
  • Freshly washed and prepared fruit, vegetables and salads
  • Eggs cooked so the yolk begins to thicken

Do you need more information?

Dr Kretowicz consults at two locations in Brisbane: the Alexandra Building on Wickham Terrace and at the Ramsay Consulting Suites at North West Private Hospital.

Contact us today on 07 3831 4090 or through our contact form or make an appointment to discuss your health or fertility goals.

Dr Eva Kretowicz

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