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To eat or not to eat? What's safe and what's not?

(15 Posts)
mumnosbest Fri 01-Jul-11 18:07:07

I'm still waiting for my booking appointment so want to make sure I know the do's and don'ts.
Nuts? just peanuts or all nuts?
Eggs? No runny eggs, so what about mayo, coleslaw or mousses?

silverangel Fri 01-Jul-11 18:23:11

No reason not to eat nuts unless you have an immediate family member with an allergy.

No unpasteurised egg so any of the things you mention above are fine if pasteurised. Pretty much anything in a supermarket is going to be pasteurised. Think runny eggs are ok too as chickens vaccinated against salmonella in the UK.

No raw shellfish.

No blue cheese / unpasteurised rind cheese like brie etc but most in the supermarket are pasteurised anyway.

You'll get some wildly different answers on this - the nhs website has a list somewhere or do a search on mn.

ohanotherone Fri 01-Jul-11 18:25:18

With my first baby, i dined on organic veg and squirrels tears.....this baby I have eaten runny eggs, drunk wine, ate nice cheese and love my nuts......

NewMummy5July2011 Fri 01-Jul-11 18:26:41

Mmmm. I love nuts too - I've had an amazing addiction to peanut butter right the way through - spread on apples. Weird I know but delicious!

mumnosbest Fri 01-Jul-11 18:37:32

Thanks all! tbh I can't face eating any of these things at the mo but if the urge grabs me at least I've got an idea. Squirrels tears sound tasty, not so sure about the peanut butter on apples though hmm

Cattleprod Fri 01-Jul-11 18:49:03

No liver either, or liver pate - too much vitamin A. And no marlin or swordfish (I'm sure they are a regular item on your menu!) as they can have high concentration of mercury.

Be careful with home made mayonnaise, chocolate mousse etc as they may contain raw egg. It's best to use eggs from the supermarket with a lion mark (esp if you want them runny) as the chickens will have been vaccinated, rather than eggs from a local smallholding or friend with chickens.

You have to have a bit of common sense too - eg if a ham has been sitting on a deli counter for a week or so while individual slices are cut off and sold, it's probably not going to be as safe as the shrinkwrapped ham in the chiller cabinet.

Make sure everything is cooked properly too, obv, and salad etc is washed. smile

Tangle Fri 01-Jul-11 18:51:16

Have a look here, and more generally here.

Just to try and clarify a couple of points silverangel made:

re eggs - current advice in the UK is to avoid undercooked eggs, regardless of the source, to minimise the risk of salmonella. There is a point of view that says if the eggs are lion-marked then they should be from vaccinated hens and therefore safe to eat as runny as you like - it depends how much you trust the system whether you consider the lion-mark scheme will eliminate/reduce the risk to a point where you feel its acceptable.

re mould ripened cheeses - current advice in the UK is to avoid all mould ripened cheeses, regardless of whether they are made from pasteurized or unpasteurized milk. This is because pasteurization happens at a very early stage of the process, and if the cheese is infected with listeria after the point a large colony could develop before the finished cheese reached your shopping trolley (mould ripened cheeses being, by definition, hospitable places for bacteria to make a home).

mumnosbest Fri 01-Jul-11 19:05:37

Oh sad to advice on runny eggs. Though maybe things had changed over the last 3 yrs. Might have to sneak an odd runny egg sandwiche when this sickness passes. Shame about the swordfish! So mayo is ok then? packed lunches have been very dull without it.

Beccabop Fri 08-Jul-11 22:51:01

Eat what you want. If you feel something might be bad for you, avoid it, just like you would if you werent preg.
Ive enjoyed brie, seafood, peanuts, the lot and am not worried one bit.

Government guidelines me arse.

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 08-Jul-11 22:55:11

It is all very confusing! My midwife told me not to eat Parma ham but in Italy they actively encourage pregnant ladies to eat it as is it is very nutritious. With my last pregnancy I relaxed after twenty weeks and ate most things except goats cheese and blue cheese. I am adopting the same approach this time.

scarlettsmummy2 Fri 08-Jul-11 22:56:42

Mumnosbest, I have eaten mayo whilst pregnant but just been choosy about the source!

Tangle Fri 08-Jul-11 23:38:28

Re. Mayo - if its Hellman's type, supermarket shelf style then it should be fine as it is almost certainly made with pasteurized eggs and should state as much on the label. (There being an underlying assumption that its not a jar you've had sitting open for the last 6 years..). If it were home-made or anything made in restaurant and done "properly" with fresh, raw egg then the risk would be as for raw egg.

I'm not sure about Parma ham, although this is from the link I posted above:
^"Cold meats and smoked salmon

Some countries advise pregnant women not to eat cold meats or smoked fish because of the risk of listeria. In the UK, we don't advise women to avoid these products because the risk is low. The risk of listeria is much higher with cheeses such as camembert, brie or chevre (a type of goat's cheese) and others with a similar rind, or pâté, which you shouldn't eat during pregnancy. However, if you are concerned, you might also choose to avoid cold meats and smoked fish while you are pregnant. "^

Which suggests the risk is considered pretty low. My instinct would be that a sealed packet would be safer than something cut for you off the deli counter, but I've nothing to back that up with. I'm not sure all MWs are as knowledgeable about all current guidance as would be ideal - and when it seems to change so often (I'm sure it was different when I was carrying DD1) I can't entirely blame them for not managing to stay completely upto date.

At the end of the day there's a risk in anything we do in life - all we can do is to inform ourselves of what the risks are as best we can with the information available and then make a decision that best balances the risks and benefits for us as individuals.

edwinbear Sat 09-Jul-11 14:08:14

I asked my midwife about peanuts and apparently the advice has changed since I had DS 2 yrs ago. then, they said avoid peanuts if you have allergies in the family, so I did as DH and I both have hayfever, but now, they say peanuts are fine regardless. So I have been tucking in.

Beccabop Sat 09-Jul-11 18:02:11

lol edwinbear, just goes to show the pointlessness of following the supposedly professional advice! Its so fickle. Really annoys me (as you can probably tell).

Tangle Sun 10-Jul-11 10:35:20

See I have a different take on it Beccabop - my opinion is that the actual professional advice (as it is advice from real life professionals) is based on the best information and research available at the time. That's not to say that it is 100% correct and will never change. There is always research ongoing and hopefully the new research will be more targeted and more rigorous than what has gone before and so will give a more robust answer on which to base guidance. But does that mean that there should be no guidance because the information available on which to base it is always changing?

Taking the peanut example, a few years ago there was a strong concern that peanut consumption during pregnancy was linked to allergies and so advice was to avoid peanuts. Subsequent research has demonstrated that not to be the case and so the advice has changed. The alternative scenario is that the initial concern wasn't considered strong enough (or there was insufficient research) and so no guidance was issued. Subsequent research was then undertaken that found there was a connection between peanut consumption during pregnancy and allergies in young children. How many of the parents who now have children with severe allergies would be happy that the information about a possible peanut/allergy link wasn't available and how many would be suing the government for failing to tell them that avoiding peanuts might have prevented them being in this situation?

Listeria during pregnancy can kill your baby.

Toxoplasmosis during pregnancy can kill your baby.

Some life choices (be it eating mould-ripened cheese or pate, or emptying the cat litter tray) can increase your chances of catching these infections. The risks may be small, but they're there. I don't think its reasonable or rational to say that following professional advice is "pointless".

IMO a bigger problem is that we, as a nation, are very bad at understanding risks and so the advice is presented as a lists of "does" and "dont's" with no context and no quantification. For me, as an individual, I'd rather know why this particular item is advised against, what the risks are, how big the risks are, what the possible consequences are and the make my own mind up. But then not that many adults in the UK seem to want to accept the responsibility that comes with making decisions like that.

I do believe that the guidance that is in place is put there as a framework to try and maintain the health (and save lives) of the general population. I do believe that its updated reasonably often as new research becomes available indicating that the guidance in place is no longer robust. You may choose to see that as a weakness - I choose to see it as a strength. I don't believe that following all guidance blindly is a sensible course of action - but I do believe that discounting it all without understanding why it is there in the first place is dangerous and misguided, and that seems to be your position, and a course of action you are recommending others follow. And that frightens me.

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