Pregnant women and their unborn children are particularly vulnerable to foodborne illnesses. Pregnancy brings about immune system changes that can worsen these illnesses and cause serious harm.

In certain cases, foodborne illnesses can cause miscarriage or premature delivery. Toxoplasma gondii and Listeria are examples of illnesses that infect the fetus, despite the mother not feeling sick.

How to Minimize Food Poisoning Risk

Keep it Clean

Always wash your hands before and after you handle foods. Your dishes, cutting boards, utensils, and kitchen surfaces should all be washed thoroughly with warm soapy water. Regularly machine wash reusable grocery bags.

Keep Things Separate

Always separate your raw meats, seafood, and poultry from other foods. They run the risk of contaminating other foods.

Cook Well

Make sure that you cook foods to their safe internal temperatures. Use a thermometer for accuracy.


Ensure that food and leftovers are refrigerated at 4 degrees Celsius. Defrost raw meat, seafood, and poultry in cold water or in the microwave. Note that if you defrost foods in the microwave, you need to cook them immediately.


What Foods You Should Avoid

  • Hot Dogs — Hot dogs eaten straight out of the package is very harmful. Cook them to a safe internal temperature. They should be about 74 degrees Celsius in the middle.
  • Deli Meats — Non-dried deli meats like roast beef, bologna, and turkey breast should be avoided if not well heated and steaming hot. Dried deli meats such as pepperoni and salami are okay.
  • Eggs and Egg Products —Avoid everything with raw or lightly cooked eggs in them. It is safe to eat egg dishes that are cooked to 74 degrees Celsius.
  • Meat, Seafood, and Poultry — Avoid raw or undercooked poultry and meat like steaks. Avoid sushi, raw oysters, mussels, and clams. It is safer also to avoid refrigerated smoked seafood.
  • Dairy Products — All forms of unpasteurized and raw dairy products are risky to consume, so it’s best to avoid them.
  • Juices and Cider — Again, avoid unpasteurized fruit juice and cider.
  • Sprouts — Raw sprouts like clover, alfalfa, mung beans, and radish should all be avoided. If they are cooked well, they can be eaten safely.
  • Refrigerated Pates and Spreads — Avoid eating them to stay on the safe side.

If you’re an expecting parent or parent-to-be, you should always have first aid training to be prepared or possibly prevent a medical emergency.

Metro Safety Training is a professional First Aid Training provider in Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey, and Burnaby. They have been serving the community in Coquitlam, BC for over 10 years. Get in touch with them now. Call 604-521-4227.