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  • Writer's pictureLauren Riordan

Top 6 Thanksgiving Foods to Avoid While Pregnant

It’s that wonderful time of year again—where indulging in all our food favorites, pregnant or not, is socially acceptable. That said, if you are pregnant, you may want to avoid a few things that everyone else may be, sadly, enjoying. Here’s a quick list of the foods most likely to carry an increased risk of food-borne illnesses.

1. Undercooked Turkey

- This is year is the year to make sure that turkey is fully cooked! If your turkey appears slightly pink or undercooked, that poses a risk of salmonella or toxoplasmosis. According to the USDA guidelines, a turkey should be cooked until the minimal internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

2. Stuffing IN the Turkey

- If you’re like me, you’re a lover of having your stuffing cooked IN the turkey. Unfortunately, this may be the year to skip that moist delicious goodness so you don’t run the risk of having undercooked turkey juices in it. But feel free to eat heaping amounts of stuffing prepared outside the turkey.

3. Soft or Unpasteurized Cheeses and deli-style meats

- There’s nothing more delicious than an appetizer tray full of meat, fruit and soft cheeses. But, approach the tray with caution. Soft cheeses tend to be made with milk that isn’t pasteurized, and it carries a greater risk of Listeria. With that said, many cheeses in the U.S. are made with pasteurized milk—soft or not—so check the label if you’re unsure. And while you’re at it, check with the host to make sure the cheese hasn’t been sitting out for longer than two hours.

In terms of the decadent prosciuttos and salamis that may decorate the cheese tray, it’s best to stay away. Like unpasteurized milk, cold cuts of meat come with a greater risk of containing the bacteria Listeria.

4. Cider

- This time of year, there is cider everywhere! Whether it is served hot or cold, make sure that it’s made from pasteurized products. Many homemade options are not. And the risk with unpasteurized cider is that it can be contaminated with E. coli.

5. Custard Pies

- Skip on the custard pies since they contain raw or undercooked eggs.

6. Alcohol

- I hope this one is an obvious already, but just in case it’s not, I’m here to say it again! Skip the boozy drinks this year, and opt for some sparkling juice instead.

If hands are washed and food is cooked correctly, you’re bound to have yourself an amazing Thanksgiving dinner! Enjoy, because this time next year, you’ll have a baby (or two) on your lap while you try and eat all that inside-the-turkey stuffing. Happy Thanksgiving!

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