The bad bugs

Monthly Chronicle - - Health & Well-being -

How­ever de­spite a diet rich in nu­tri­ents, hor­monal changes dur­ing preg­nancy can af­fect the im­mune sys­tem mak­ing it harder to fight off ill­ness and in­fec­tions.

Lis­te­ria which causes the se­ri­ous in­va­sive ‘lis­te­rio­sis’ in­fec­tion is an ex­am­ple of these in­fec­tions, with about ten per cent of the 65 re­ported an­nual cases oc­cur­ring in preg­nant women, and preg­nant women up to 13 times more likely to con­tract lis­te­rio­sis than other healthy adults. And sadly, one in five cases of lis­te­ria in preg­nant women re­sults in foetal death.

Avoid­ance of foods that in­crease the in­fec­tion risk is crit­i­cal through­out the preg­nancy. The foods to avoid that could po­ten­tially con­tain lis­te­ria are ones that con­tain un­pas­teurised milk or raw or smoked meat or seafood.

are soft mould ripened cheeses which con­tain a lot of wa­ter which can grow the bac­te­ria, like Camem­bert, Brie and blue vein cheeses.

How­ever soft cheese made from pas­teurised milk like moz­zarella, feta, cot­tage, hal­loumi, goats', pro­cessed and cream cheese, paneer and ri­cotta and hard cheeses like ched­dar, parme­san and Stil­ton, are all con­sid­ered safe to eat. In the raw or smoked meat or seafood cat­e­gory are • all types of pâté in­clud­ing veg­etable pâtés which should be avoided • cured or fer­mented cold meats such as salami, pep­per­oni, Parma ham and chorizo should also be avoided, although if these types of meat are then cooked – such as on a pizza – then that’s ok • risk can also be min­imised by en­sur­ing pork, poul­try and minced meats are well cooked • un­cooked fish and shell­fish should be avoided, in­clud­ing oys­ters, sushi, sashimi and re­frig­er­ated un­cooked

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