Food Safety & Hygiene during Pregnancy

  • Always wash hands:
    • before preparing and eating foods
    • before and after handling raw meat
    • after gardening
    • after contact with animals
    • after going to the toilet or changing a baby’s nappy
  • Wash fruit and vegetables thoroughly before eating, even pre-washed lettuce leaves.
  • Always separate raw and cooked meats when in the fridge and when preparing meals. Wash hands and chopping boards thoroughly after contact with uncooked meats.
  • Use different kitchen utensils and chopping boards when cooking raw and cooked meats to avoid cross contamination
  • Clean work surfaces thoroughly before and after preparing foods, especially when preparing raw meat and fish.
  • Cook all foods thoroughly especially meat and fish and serve hot. If heating a pre-prepared meal make sure it is piping hot right through.
  • Ensure the temperature of the fridge is <5°C and avoid leaving perishable foods out of the fridge for prolonged periods.
  • Avoid eating foods past their ‘use by’ date.
  • Water from a contaminated supply should not be consumed. Check with your local authority that your tap water is safe for consumption.
  • Drink bottled water only when abroad.
  • Always wear gloves when gardening and wash hands carefully afterwards and also after changing cat litter. This is to avoid infection by the bacterium Toxoplasma gondii which causes Toxoplasmosis.
  • Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy can result in the transfer of the bacterium to the foetus and result in spontaneous abortion or serious handicap in the newborn.