What is safe to eat when pregnant?

Daughter 2-of-5, who is due shortly, asked food safety dad, I know to avoid deli meats, but is it OK to eat pepperettes?

jaucelynn.pregnantI asked Chapman (it’s his job, he’s in extension).

“Most are shelf stable based on pH and Aw – they have been fermented and dried (not cooked). Sometimes they are smoked. Sometimes not.

“I’d cook it because you’d have to know that the pH and Aw was correct and what the steps were to validate the smoking (if that was used).

They are probably fine, but hard to know without the specifics.”

Good advice.

In related news, preclinical research demonstrates for the first time that refocusing an expectant mother’s immune cells to prevent them from attacking the fetus may be a therapeutic strategy for preventing pregnancy complications like stillbirth or prematurity.

Scientists at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center report their findings March 9 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation. They suggest restricting the pregnant mother’s immune cells from the placenta (the maternal-fetal interface) can protect against pregnancy complications during maternal infection and complications not triggered by prenatal infection.

The study sheds new light on an entrenched public health challenge – premature birth and the related pregnancy complications of preeclampsia, spontaneous abortion and stillbirth. One of every 9 infants in the United States is born premature, or before 37 weeks of pregnancy, according to the U.S. Centers of Disease Control. There remains no effective therapy for these pregnancy complications, and babies born too early are highly vulnerable to death or long-term developmental abnormalities.