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Going to Belgium... should i avoid salads??

(17 Posts)
kri5ty Wed 27-Jul-11 11:20:12

I am going to belgium next week, and it has just occured to me if it will be safe eating salads and veg etc over there

I am very bad, i dont even wash my own fruit or veg here, so im guessing it should be no different over there?

if not i will just have to stick with chips and mayo (from a bottle of course) lol

icravecheese Wed 27-Jul-11 11:29:54

I believe its pretty much the same advice across Europe (we went to spain earlier this year & my spanish friend told me not to eat any raw salad / veg in restuarants too). PRetty sure a belgian woman has posted on mumsnet before quoting the no salad rule...

It is bizarre tho - I will happily eat a big tasty salad in pizza express when pregnant, or attack the harvester salad bar. However its such a big no-no on the continent. Really hope this no salad rule doesn't spread over to the UK shock

But hey, its not such a hardship having to live off frites & mayo for a few weeks smile

Crosshair Wed 27-Jul-11 11:32:38

If you dont bother washing salad here Im not sure why it would bother you others not washing salad else where.

AlpinePony Wed 27-Jul-11 11:47:19

Seriously? hmm

It's Belgium, not the DR Congo.

kri5ty Wed 27-Jul-11 13:26:16

yes icravecheese i have friends in france, and also spain, who are told not to eat it under any circumstances whilst pregnant as toxoplasmosis is so common over there... crazy as they will happily have a glass of wine!!

Snowgirl1 Wed 27-Jul-11 16:57:03

Toxoplasmosis is common in France and Spain? Well, much of the fruit & veg in our supermarkets comes from there and if the OP doesn't bother washing fruit & veg in the UK (I quite often don't either, OP, so that's not a criticism), then eating salads in Belgium shouldn't be an issue.

Seems a bit OTT to me to avoid eating salad on the continent - I don't think hygiene practices in restaurants there are worse than the UK. Eating a washed salad from a restaurant in Belgium (which is made from Spanish tomatoes, for example), shouldn't be any worse than eating a washed salad (made with Spanish tomatoes) in a restaurant in the UK, should it? Or am I missing something?

fraktious Wed 27-Jul-11 17:00:09

I think it's a cultural perception of risk rather than the actual risk posed. Toxoplasmosis infection is more common on the continent therefore people are more aware and take more precautions.

JennyPiccolo Wed 27-Jul-11 17:05:40

i was in italy once and spain 4 times when pregnant, and it never occured to me not to eat salad. Must've eaten hundreds of it. Also eggs. I had cravings for poached eggs.

icravecheese Wed 27-Jul-11 17:56:39

I think you're right fraktious, because toxo is much more prevalent on the continent they are consequently much more aware of it abroad (in fact, my GP said toxo virtually doesnt exist in the uk food chain in UK produced meat & veg)

However, snowgirl1 has a very good point that hadn't even crossed my mind - spanish tomatoes, foreign lettuce etc, we probably all eat it in UK restaurants yet don't have the no salad rule here, & I can't imagine hygiene in UK establishments is any greater than that in places on the continent.

Who knows! The whole food rules thing is turning into a bloody minefield! Oh to have carried a baby in the 70's when our mums were oblivious to all of this!

kri5ty Fri 29-Jul-11 07:28:42

yup i have too say after starting this post in a moment of panic, that i often have now lol, i am going to go along the lines of "oh to have carried a baby in the 70s!"

the produce we use at home, is always from the UK, but to be honest it had never occured to me about eating in restaurants here... of course thy prob use produce frm spain / france... silly me! smile

AlpinePony Fri 29-Jul-11 08:17:36

Most of the produce we buy comes from outside the UK - unless of course you're buying "local" from a farm shop or something.

AlpinePony Fri 29-Jul-11 08:29:34

PS I think we ALL have "moments". I nearly burst in to tears the other morning when someone drove past my house and their car smelled really badly of fumes. blush

In the cold, hard light of day I do not expect to give birth to a six-legged baby!

BebeBelge Fri 29-Jul-11 09:08:35

I had my daughter in Belgium, and my on/gun was really strict about no salads/ fruit in restaurants as you don't know if they were washed properly, also no 'pink' meat. It was because of toxoplasmosis. Although my blood tests showed I had no natural immunity. I believe some people have natural immunity due to having contracted it previously. Many have minor or no symptoms at all so never realise. But, hey, if you're at all worried, just stick to the chocolate! grin

BebeBelge Fri 29-Jul-11 09:09:39

Sorry, need to learn to proofread. That should be ob/gyn of course!

kri5ty Fri 29-Jul-11 09:47:07

mmm i can quite happily stick to the chocolate... i am just going to miss some lovely kriek beers!

AlpinePony Fri 29-Jul-11 09:49:16

There's nothing lovely about kriek. <vomits and shudders>

There is no actual reason why you can't have "a" beer you know.

kri5ty Fri 29-Jul-11 09:56:23

mmmm i love lindermans kriek (and only lindermans lol) mmmmm

I may have one :-) or maybe a peach one! ... i will stay clear of the kwak though!

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