Tag Archives: summer

Summer Food Safety for Moms-To-Be

Source: Downthemeadow.com

Source: Downthemeadow.com

Summer is here, and if you’re like us in the lab, you have sunshine, beaches, backyard cookouts, picnics, and Listeria monocytogenes on your mind. Warm weather and good food are two things we can all appreciate; however, unfortunately these conditions are also ideal for foodborne illness caused by Listeria.

According to the USDA’s Crystal McDade-Ngutter, Ph.D: “Listeria monocytogenes is a dangerous bacterium that you should be on the lookout for all year round—especially in the summer months. Listeria can cause a foodborne illness called listeriosis. It can grow at refrigeration temperatures and is one of the deadliest foodborne illnesses.” Listeriosis can be fatal, and is especially dangerous to numerous populations, including pregnant women.

For those expecting or hosting someone that is expecting at their next summer barbeque or picnic, consider these preventative measures that can help keep pregnant women and their mini-barbeque/picnic goer safe this summer:

  • Do not eat hot dogs, luncheon meats, or deli meats unless they are reheated until steaming hot.
  • Avoid getting fluid from hot dog packages on other foods, utensils, and food preparation surfaces, and wash hands after handling hot dogs, luncheon meats, and deli meats.
  • Do not eat soft cheeses such as feta, Brie, and Camembert, blue-veined cheeses, or Mexican-style cheeses such as queso blanco, queso fresco, and Panela, unless they have labels that clearly state they are made from pasteurized milk.
    • It is safe to eat hard cheeses, semi-soft cheeses such as mozzarella, pasteurized processed cheese slices and spreads, cream cheese, and cottage cheese.
  • Do not eat refrigerated pâté or meat spreads.
    • It is safe to eat canned or shelf-stable pâté and meat spreads.
  • Do not eat refrigerated smoked seafood unless it is an ingredient in a cooked dish such as a casserole. Examples of refrigerated smoked seafood include salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, and mackerel which are most often labeled as “nova-style,” “lox,” “kippered,” “smoked,” or “jerky.” This fish is found in the refrigerated section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens.
    • It is safe to eat canned fish such as salmon and tuna or shelf-stable smoked seafood.
  • Do not drink raw (unpasteurized) milk or eat foods that contain unpasteurized milk.
  • Use all refrigerated perishable items that are precooked or ready-to-eat as soon as possible.
  • Clean your refrigerator regularly.
  • Use a refrigerator thermometer to make sure that the refrigerator always stays at 40 °F or below.

Follow these tips to ensure that you and your little one have a fun and safe summer. For additional summer food safety tips, check out Krisina Beaugh’s “Checklist For the Perfect Summer Picnic.”

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