Teach Me Please!
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March 23rd, 2011, 07:08 AM
Join Date: Aug 2010
Originally Posted by
Oh, and after having food poisoning from lunch meat a few weeks ago (where just the 2 preggos got sick), I'm gonna stick to the "no lunch meat" rule lol
Uh oh, you seem to have triggered "The Rant" - I'm sorry everyone, this is a bit long
Sorry you got some bad meat!
But the reason they tell you to avoid lunch meat is NOT for normal food poisoning reasons. Normal food poisoning sucks for mom, but the bacteria can't cross the placenta. It is for Listeria, which does not cause normal food poisoning symptoms, but can nonetheless kill your baby since it DOES cross the placenta. Terrifying? Yes. Guess what the chances are of this happening? Hard to say because they are so small, but definitely ~1 in 100,000 (0.01%) or less. That is if you DO NOTHING.
The only type of food well-connected to Listeria is unpasteurized soft cheese, like queso fresco (in fact Hispanics have the highest rate of Listeriosis of any sub-population in the US). There is VERY WEAK (IMO - and I'm opinionated, yes, but I used to get paid good money to review such studies) evidence connecting Listeriosis with ingestion of lunch/deli meat and sushi. But the fact is that Listeria is ubiquitous in nature, and you can get it from ANY food item that is not served steaming hot. The most you could possibly reduce your risk of Listeria by avoiding lunch meat, sushi, and soft cheese is ~50%.
For some reason the CDC has challenged the FDA to reduce the rate of Listeriosis by half, even though we already have the lowest rate in the world (much lower than Europe, where they love their unpasteurized soft cheese!) Since the FDA is already doing all they can in terms of food safety rules and inspections (and doing more would cost a lot more money), they decided to pass on advice to ACOG that pregnant women should avoid lunch meat, soft cheese, and sushi, in the hopes that this will further reduce the rate without any extra spending on their part. So ACOG is dutifully telling doctors to tell their patients this..
They should be telling you, "Listeriosis is a rare but serious pregnancy complication that you get from ingesting Listeria bacteria. Although you can get Listeria from any food that is not steaming hot, you might be able to reduce your chances of getting it from 0.01% to 0.005% by avoiding these foods:" (and make clear that the most important one to avoid is UNPASTEURIZED soft cheese)
Instead they tell you: "You are advised to avoid these foods in order to prevent you from getting Listeria. Listeria can kill your baby with no or few symptoms to you."
See why it makes me mad????
Anyhoo. Rant over. Sorry!!!!
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