(MENAFN - Arab Times) Pregnant women and children are most susceptible to food poisoning which may be potentially fatal, according to Dana Ghareeb, nutritionist at Safe Food, Safe Family, a community initiative by Al Yasra Foods.
According to Ghareeb, a study by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the United States have proven that pregnant women go through hormonal changes which are likely to change their immune system as well, thus increasing their chances of contracting foodborne illnesses. "Any one of us can suffer from a bout of food poisoning but the weakened immune system of the mother and the under-developed immune system of the unborn child is at further risk of contracting food-borne illnesses such as Salmonella.
These illnesses can cause miscarriages, premature delivery or even the death of a newborn baby" Dana further elaborates. Ghareeb goes on to add that most pregnant women become extremely vigilant on nutrition and food items that are good for their baby and are also quite careful about avoiding certain food items that are meant to be "controversial". "Pregnant women often avoid eating raw fish like sushi and undercooked meats which are all right steps to avoid taking any chance of contracting any form of foodborne illnesses. However, the more important step is to ensure that your food items are prepared and cooked following the right food safety practices," Ghareeb says. "Check your four basic steps of food safety - cooking your food items to the right temperature, cleaning your food items and utensils, separating your meats, vegetables and ready-to-eat food items and chilling your frozen foods. The food thermometer should be your best friend in determining if your food item is cooked safely especially when you're pregnant.
Taking a gamble and relying on your senses in determining if a certain food item is cooked or not is not something you should do when you're pregnant. The Safe Food Safe Family website safefoodsafefamily.org has all the necessary food safety tips in Arabic, English, Hindi, Tagalog and Malayalam that you and your housekeeper both can practice in the kitchen. Ghareeb concludes by adding that symptoms of food poisoning such as nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and fever should not be taken lightly by pregnant mothers and they should immediately consult a physician. "Seek medical advice as soon as you even have the slightest hunch that you might have food poisoning as early treatment might be able to protect both you and your unborn child," Ghareeb added