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Pregnancy hormones can lower a woman’s immune system to the point that infections and diseases that she would normally fight off can have much more serious consequences.

When talking about food poisoning, the two main culprits are listeria (Listeria monocytogenes) and salmonella. In Australia, one in ten cases of listeriosis is a pregnant woman, and for one in five of those women, the disease tragically results in the death of the fetus. Newborn babies are also particularly susceptible.

Foods that carry a higher risk of listeria or salmonella contamination should, therefore, be avoided while pregnant.

These include:

It’s quite a list, but the general rule is – stick to cooked foods and eat them while they’re hot. Heating anything to 75°C will kill listeria and salmonella.


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For more reading, see this excellent fact sheet from NSW Health