Top 10 hopeful stories for 2010 for consumers and the environment
Merry Christmas to you and your loved ones

Food safety tips for pregnant women during the holidays


The birth rate among women in their early forties increased in 2009, while it dropped among younger age groups including teens.

If you’re a pregnant baby boomer, here are food safety tips for the holiday season:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially when touching raw meat, raw eggs, or unwashed vegetables; preparing food; and before eating or drinking.
  • Try not to share forks, cups, or food with young children. Wash your hands often when around children. Their saliva and urine might contain a virus that could be harmful for you and your unborn baby.
  • Cook your meat until it's well done. The best way to tell that food has been cooked is to use a food thermometer. For more information, see the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Is It Done Yet?
  • Don’t eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats, unless they’re reheated until steaming hot. These undercooked meats and processed meats might contain harmful bacteria.
  • Avoid unpasteurized (raw) milk and foods made from it. Don’t eat soft cheeses such as feta, brie, and queso fresco unless they have labels that say they are pasteurized. Unpasteurized products can contain harmful bacteria and can cause infections such as Listeriosis which can be very harmful for both you and your unborn baby.
  • Be aware of holiday beverages. Watch out for alcohol-containing holiday punches and eggnogs. Avoid eggnog entirely unless you know it was made with pasteurized eggs and contains no alcohol.

To learn more about food safety and/or infections during pregnancy, contact CDC-INFO at or 800-CDC-INFO 24/7. Or, you can visit the Center's for Disease Control's Pregnancy Information gateway or

Happy holidays.

 Copyright 2010, Rita R. Robison, Consumer Specialist 


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