Post # 1
- Wedding: September 2017 - California
I got really paranoid when I was pregnant recently (ended in MC) about eating raw veggies (and fruits) because of the guidance about not eating unwashed produce. Of course, I wash produce when I make it for myself, regardless of whether or not I am pregnant, and so does my husband, but my main concern was eating out, even just getting a salad or sandwich with lettuce or tomatoes on it made me nervous because I can’t help but wonder if restaurants wash their produce. After all, unwashed produce isn’t really dangerous to people who are not pregnant, is it? I guess I am not really sure. I work an office job and eat a sandwich or salad every day for lunch, just pick one up at a local to go place. Now, I am not worried because I am not pregnant at the moment but hopefully I will be pregnant again soon and I want to be better informed and prepared. What do people do about this? Do you just make your own lunch every day and avoid uncooked veggies when eating out? This has been bugging me so would love to find out what people do from a practical perspective. Thanks!
Post # 2
So my understanding is that the concern about unwashed fruits/veggies is because of potential listeria/toxoplasmosis, which isn’t (in and of itself) dangerous to a pregnant woman like alcohol or high mercury fish would be. It actually IS a concern for everyone, pregnant or not, but it’s of particular concern in pregnancy since it could have devastating effects to a fetus even if the mother ends up being fine after a brief illness. I may be wrong, but I think if you’re a relatively healthy adult you’re usually OK after getting one of these but for the immunocompromised, elderly, etc. it would be much more of a concern. For that reason I’m pretty confident that restaurants that take food safety seriously would wash all produce.
I’m about 3.5 months right now and I wash veggies at home but don’t worry too much about eating them out and about at a reputable place. I also don’t worry about soft cheeses at all because early in my pregnancy it was so hard NOT to find unpasteurized soft cheese anywhere (read SO many labels) so now I just assume it is. In the US at least I think it would have to be imported to be unpasteurized and I don’t think restaurants are going around sprinkling fancy imported bleu cheese on top of their wedge salads!
Post # 3
It never even crossed my mind and I’m 32 weeks. Unless you restrict yourself to meals you’ve cooked yourself, you cannot make any guarantees re food prep. Just eat at / buy from places you feel reasonably confident would have good hygiene and you’ll be fine.
Also, very much appreciate that having suffered a miscarriage you will be very cautious in your next pregnancy but just a gentle reminder that stress is really not good for the baby and so try and keep things in perspective – it’s easy to worry about every little thing (esp in the first trimester). As you say, how often do you hear about people getting ill from washed fruit and veg? Just control what you can (no alcohol at least for the first 12 W weeks, no smoking, minimal caffeine and avoid the biggies like too much mercury, rare meats etc), and you’ll be fine.
Best is luck on your TTC journey xx
Post # 4
Agree with those above. I’m on my third pregnancy and I’ll be honest- I never even think about unwashed veggies. I try to avoid the obvious stuff (booze, raw fish, uncooked eggs) but everything else I just eat.
Post # 5
- Wedding: September 2017 - California
Thanks everyone! I knew in the back of my mind that I was being a bit paranoid about this, so this is very helpful to hear. One less thing to be freaked out about if/when I get pregnant again.
Post # 6
- Wedding: December 1969 - City, State
zstbee84 : I understand your worry because I freaked out big time after eating a bowl of salad at around week 9. It was from a very high-end restaurant and I only picked at it but I worried myself sick until the next ultrasound scan at 12 weeks.
I am in my third trimester now and have not eaten raw salad since. I only eat cooked veggies when I’m out but I’m probably the minority (aka super paranoid pregnant lady haha)!
Post # 7
I’m 5 months along and I was also used to eating sandwiches (with lettuce, tomato, some sort of housemade dressing/aioli) or a big salad for lunch. I’ve since avoided all raw veggies when eating out. I know it’s most likely unwarranted paranoia and the chances of something bad happening are slim but knowing myself I will stress out MORE if I ate it and then worry rather than just avoiding it in the first place. So instead, my husband packs a healthy lunch for me made at home, full of veggies or a salad prepped that morning. If I’m dying for a restaurant sandwich I order it with the veggies and dressing on the side…totally lame but sometimes I’m desperate.
Post # 8
Just think what they used to eat while pregnant in our mums day.
Post # 9
- Wedding: June 2017 - A vineyard
I would pick cooked veggies wherever I could when we ate out. Otherwise I just prayed Panera was on their salad washing game since I was so ill my whole pregnancy eating out happened pretty much daily and I couldn’t cook st home except for a daily lunch salad after the second GD test came back as slightly high.
Post # 10
I avoided sprouts, but other than that did not think twice about it. The risk is really incredibly low. It’s way more dangerous to get in your car and drive somewhere while pregnant, and that is something everyone does. I would talk to your doctor if you’re really concerned about this; maybe they can ease your fears.
Post # 11
Well when I was pregnant the food item that had listeria was…ice cream.
So yeah. I’d eat raw veggies. The only thing I avoid is sprouts.
Post # 12
zstbee84 : I avoided lettuce and spinach while eating out because of all the recalls goomg on. During my pregnancy I think romaine lettuce was recalled 3 times due to ecoli so I wanted to be safe and avoid all greens in case restaurants weren’t diligent about washing their produce well.
Post # 13
If it’s goign to play on your mind, could you just take a sandwich into work each day, prepared at home? You could have piece of mind that it’s prepared properly, and would save money for the baby.
Post # 14
zstbee84 : I had no idea that was a thing. I basically only ate raw veggies when I was pregnant. I beelined for the veggie platter at every party I went to lol. I craved veggies and never questioned if they were washed. I have a happy healthy toddler.
Post # 15
Raw veggies are among the healthiest things you can eat. I would think that the negative effects of cutting yourself off from them, after regularly eating them, would be worse for pregnancy health than exposing yourself to the very low possibility of encountering issues with them.