• washing-hands-soap

Preventing food-borne illness is always important, but is especially so during pregnancy when the consequences can adversely affect the mother and the unborn child. Listed below are key behaviors important in ensuring the safety of the food you eat.

  • Practice Personal Hygiene
  • Always wash hands well with soap and warm running water before handling food, after using the toilet, after changing a baby's diaper, and after touching animals.
  • Cook Foods Safely 
  • Safe endpoint cooking temperatures. To test the temperature of food, insert thermometer in the middle of the thickest part of the food you're cooking and allow a few seconds for the thermometer to register. 
  • When testing the temperature of a hamburger, lift it out of the pan on a spatula and insert the thermometer from the side. 
  • Use a food thermometer to make sure meat, poultry (including ground meats) and eggs are cooked to safe endpoint temperatures.  
  • Use a thermometer to make sure leftovers are reheated to 165 degrees F. 
  • Always heat hot dogs to steaming hot before eating. 
  • Follow the instructions on the package or simmer for at least 5 minutes. 
  • Heat lunch meats and deli meats to steaming hot before eating. This includes packaged lunch meats and those purchased at the deli. You can use a microwave, oven or grill. If you prefer lunch meats cold, they can be heated and then cooled before eating. 
  • Cook shellfish until the shell opens and the flesh is fully cooked; cook fish until flesh is firm and flakes easily with a fork or to 145 degrees F.
  • Avoid Cross-Contamination
  • Wash knives, cutting boards and food preparation areas with hot, soapy water after touching raw poultry, meat and seafood. 
  • Wash hands with soap and warm running water after handling raw foods.
  • Thoroughly rinse fresh fruits and vegetables under running water before eating. 
  • Keep cooked and ready-to-eat foods separate from raw meat, poultry, seafood and their juices. 
  • Keep Foods at Safe Temperatures 
  • Store all perishable foods at or below 40 degrees F. 
  • Use a refrigerator thermometer to make sure your refrigerator is between 35 to 40 degrees F. 
  • Store eggs and other perishable foods in the refrigerator. 
  • Use perishable foods that are precooked or ready-to-eat as soon as possible. 
  • If the food cannot be eaten within 4 days, it is best to freeze or discard it.