How Do You Get Food Poisoning While Pregnant?


Quick Answer

According to WebMD, pregnant women are at higher risk of contracting food poisoning from certain bacteria. This includes Listeria monocytogenes, which can cause listeriosis. Pregnant women, therefore, need to exercise extra caution while eating.

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Full Answer

As WebMD highlights, listeriosis occurs when women eat certain foods. It is mainly found in soft cheeses, such as brie. In addition, it's present in luncheon meats, meat spreads, unpasteurized milk, smoked refrigerated seafood and sometimes in prepackaged salads. According to the FDA, women are more likely to develop listeriosis as their immune systems weaken during pregnancy. A weakened immune system allows mom and baby to co-exist, but it does make expectant mothers more susceptible to bacteria such as Listeria monocytogenes than other individuals.

WebMD and the FDA both offer suggestions for preventing food poisoning during pregnancy. This includes avoiding foods associated with listeriosis, washing hands thoroughly prior to cooking, using separate chopping boards and knives for different types of food, chilling food properly and cooking food at the right temperature. As the FDA states, women who experience the signs of food poisoning during pregnancy should contact their health care provider. Such signs include stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, headaches and a fever. If the food poisoning occurs after eating out, contacting the local health department is necessary.

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