HMC stresses on food safety for expectant women
To mark the World Health Day, which focused on food safety this year, Hamad Medical Corporation (HMC) is encouraging women to be particularly cautious about their nutrition during pregnancy.
Dr. Faten Al-Taher, Senior Consultant at HMC’s Women’s Hospital, explained: “The consumption of safe food and maintaining a healthy diet is important at all times; however, during pregnancy it becomes much more important since women undergo hormonal changes that affect their immune system. This means that it becomes harder for their bodies to resist infections and they are at an increased risk of developing certain kinds of food-borne illnesses.”
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the consumption of unsafe food can lead to a range of health problems including reproductive and developmental complications. In some cases, food-related diseases may lead to a miscarriage, stillbirth or serious health troubles for the baby after birth.[boxify cols_use =”1″ cols =”1″ position =”none” order =”none” box_spacing =”10″ padding =”10″ background_color =”#3c3c3c” border_style =”solid” ]
Safety steps to eliminate food-related health risks
- Practice personal hygiene. This includes washing hands well with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds, before touching any food items, after using the toilet, and after touching pets.
- In order to avoid cross-contamination, all knives, cutting boards and food preparation counters should be washed and disinfected with soap and warm water, specifically after touching raw poultry, meat and seafood.
- All fresh produce; such as fruits and vegetables, including those with skin, should be thoroughly rinsed before eating.
- It is advisable to store eggs as well as all other perishable foods in the refrigerator and use all precooked or ready-to-eat meals as soon as possible,
- Some kinds of foods such as raw or uncooked meat, poultry, seafood, unwashed fruits or vegetables, soft cheeses can be contaminated with certain kinds of bacteria, which may be harmful for expectant women. Therefore, it is advised that meats should be fully cooked.