The holidays are upon us with Thanksgiving right around the corner! We can practically smell the turkey and pumpkin pie! We here at littlebeam Nursing Pillows thought it would be a great idea to share some food safety tips for pregnant future parents looking to survive the holidays. We can’t help you deal with the in-laws, but we can help with some pregnancy tips on what to choose from the menu!
Let’s start with the appetizers. During Thanksgiving, and other holiday gatherings, a meat and cheese plate is a classic staple. We know how tempting it can be, especially when you’re waiting for the main course to be done so you can indulge, but you should steer clear of deli meats and soft cheeses during your pregnancy. Deli meats can be grounds for bacteria, so the tray put out for anyone to grab from is definitely not your best bet. It is also recommended for pregnant individuals to avoid eating soft cheeses because they are normally made from raw, unpasteurized milk which can be linked to Listeria monocytogenes and other contaminants. A better move? Bring a snack you know is safe, and hold onto your appetite for the main course.
Now, let’s discuss drinks. If you are going to someone else’s house for holiday celebration, you should first ask if any holiday drinks being served contain alcohol that you should avoid. You may find yourself grabbing something that looks like cranberry juice, but it could have a secret ingredient you shouldn’t drink! Also, avoid raw/homemade/unpasteurized eggnog and apple cider. With homemade eggnog you could run the risk of contracting Salmonella from raw egg and unpasteurized milk. Raw apple cider also has its own risks of containing the E. coli bacteria. Our advice is to ask the host beforehand if any of the holiday beverages are homemade or contain alcohol.
And now for the part everyone is waiting for - the main course! Thanksgiving, and other holiday gatherings, mainly focus around a turkey, duck, chicken and/or ham as the main entrée. Some families might even prefer a main course featuring fish! No matter what your family decides, there are some other things to keep in mind:
- Thaw foods separately and avoid thawing meats on counters
- Ensure food is cooked fully with a cooking thermometer
- Stay away from cross-contaminated food, and if you are eating at someone else’s home be sure that the kitchen where food was prepared is clean, and that all food was properly stored
There you have the basics for our holiday pregnancy tips! Go out and have an amazing (and safe!) holiday experience with your friends and family this season. And be sure to enjoy these fun memories because next Thanksgiving you’ll be making new kinds of memories with your little bundle of joy!
Food Safety - Holiday Foods
Food Safety - Pregnancy Food Safety
CDC - Holiday Food Safety
What To Expect - Holiday Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy
Baby Center - Eating Meat While Pregnant
Baby Center - Info on Soft Cheese
FDA - Resources