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Australia updates food safety advice for pregnant women

Pregnant women should stay away from unpasteurized fruit juices as well as hummus and other dips containing tahini, according to updated advice in Australia.
The Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) guidance also states expectant mothers should not eat raw sprouts, raw eggs or soft cheeses unless thoroughly cooked.
It is also important to follow food safety guidelines when preparing and storing food.
Raw eggs may contain Salmonella so should be shunned. They may be in smoothies, mayonnaise or desserts like mousse. Hummus and tahini may be contaminated with Salmonella and should not be eaten. Raw seed sprouts may contain E. coli, Salmonella or Listeria and should be avoided or thoroughly cooked before consumption.
Pregnant women should also avoid soft or semi soft pasteurized white cheeses like brie, camembert, feta, blue, mozzarella and ricotta unless thoroughly cooked, unpasteurized dairy products​, oysters, pre-packed salads and soft serve ice cream due to potential Listeria infection.
There is also advice on what to eat if expecting a baby. This includes lots of well-washed fruit and vegetables, wholegrain breads and cereals, moderate amounts of low fat dairy foods, lean meat, chicken and fish, dried beans, lentils and other legumes and a variety of nuts and seeds.
Update to NZ advice
The move in Australia follows research and updated advice by the New Zealand government on pregnancy and food safety. See a full list of foods here .
Foodborne illness can make the mother and baby unwell, and in extreme cases can cause serious illness, premature birth, stillbirth or the death of newborn babies.
The focus was on Listeria monocytogenes, Toxoplasma gondii, methylmercury and caffeine, as they are hazards known to have specific impacts on the fetus. Pregnant women have lower levels of immunity than usual so are more at risk of illnesses like toxoplasmosis.
Plain cakes, slices and muffins can be eaten but those with added custard or cream should be avoided unless cream is newly opened and custard is home-made and fresh.
Whole melons should be thoroughly washed and dried before cutting and frozen berries cooked before eating.
Leftovers need to be stored covered in the fridge and eaten within two days. They should be reheated to at least 70 degrees C (158 degrees F).
(To sign up for a free subscription to Food Safety News,  click here .)

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