What's Safe to Eat During Pregnancy?

Deli Meats and Cheese

Some soft cheese, unpasteurized milk, and ready-to-eat meat (including deli meats, packaged lunch meats, and hot dogs) contain listeria, a bacteria that can cause a type of food poisoning called listeriosis. This infection is especially dangerous during pregnancy and can cause miscarriage or stillbirth. Although you should avoid unpasteurized soft cheese, there is a way to get your fill of deli meat and hot dogs: heat until steaming hot -- this should kill any bacteria.

Most people don't get sick when eating listeria-contaminated food. But, for reasons not thoroughly understood, pregnant women are about 20 times more likely than other adults to get listeriosis and become very ill from it. The infection often starts with flu-like symptoms, and prompt treatment with antibiotics can prevent serious side effects.

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