Admit it: You don't think twice about sampling a few spoonfuls of cookie dough before it makes its way into the oven. While eating foods with raw eggs in them is not a good idea any time, it's an especially bad idea now that you're pregnant. Every year, 76 million Americans get sick from contaminated food, and pregnant women are among the most vulnerable. The illnesses range from mild--producing flulike symptoms such as upset stomach, diarrhea, cramps, and headache--to fatal. Approximately 5,000 people in the United States die each year from food-borne illness.
Food-borne illness occurs when you eat food that is contaminated with bacteria, viruses, parasites, and toxins. Bacterial contamination is most common. You can't avoid harmful bacteria completely, but if you follow these steps, you can help prevent them from making you and your family sick:
Originally published in You & Your Baby: Pregnancy.
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