Pregnancy food safety messages should probably include Listeria

There’s a lot of pressure on moms-to-be. When I was a dad-to-be, I supplied some of that  pressure. Throughout Dani’s pregnancies I became the food police in our house — no soft cheeses or cold deli meats made it to Dani’s plate, most didn’t even make it in the house. Everything was been temped during cooking.

I read pretty well every paper I could on Listeria, and Doug and I discussed the merits of broad food surveys and listeria growth in blue-veined cheese. It was a bit ridiculous, but I hear that first time parents sometimes can be obsessive.

Over time I’ve become much less obsessive, have been better at employing risk communication even within my own home. My goal is to give folks info that can help them make risk decisions; not tell them what to do.

Tonight I read an article on food safety for moms-to-be. It started promising, except for the yelling (the headline, 4 STEP FOOD SAFETY GUIDE TO KEEP YOU SAFE DURING PREGNANCY) and went further downhill when all the blogger highlighted was the generic, sanitized messages of cook, chill, clean and separate.

Disappointing that there’s no mention of Listeria, the foods that are high risk for the pathogen – and how to manage the risks.

Missed opportunity.

This entry was posted in Listeria and tagged by Ben Chapman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Ben Chapman

Dr. Ben Chapman is a professor and food safety extension specialist at North Carolina State University. As a teenager, a Saturday afternoon viewing of the classic cable movie, Outbreak, sparked his interest in pathogens and public health. With the goal of less foodborne illness, his group designs, implements, and evaluates food safety strategies, messages, and media from farm-to-fork. Through reality-based research, Chapman investigates behaviors and creates interventions aimed at amateur and professional food handlers, managers, and organizational decision-makers; the gate keepers of safe food. Ben co-hosts a biweekly podcast called Food Safety Talk and tries to further engage folks online through Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and, maybe not surprisingly, Pinterest. Follow on Twitter @benjaminchapman.