Eating out means eating right. In the midst of food recalls and multi-state foodborne illness outbreaks, the injunction has never been truer—especially for pregnant moms, who must be particularly careful of what they eat because of their compromised immune systems.
That’s not to say of course that moms should chuck all trips to Taco Bell or KFC (most restaurants now require a food safety training or a ISO 22000 Training as an employment requirement) and make do with home cooking all nine months. The operant phrase is “stay safe.” And here’s how, based on recommendations by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:
Appearances matter—and so do first impressions. If the place doesn’t look clean or is not clean, the kitchen probably is not either. Seriously consider dining elsewhere. If the place passes the first-impression test, make sure you wash your hands with soap and warm water before dining. Use alcohol wipes as an alternative.
Always be food vigilant, particularly if you’re pregnant. Make sure you know what you’re about to eat and how they were prepared. Raw food (sushi, for instance) should always ring alarm bells. Raw food isn’t necessarily exotic food though; it can be food as commonplace as bean sprouts.
For pregnant moms, thoroughly cooked food is the safest food, especially if the order consists of meat, poultry, fish, and eggs. A hot meal means it’s piping hot; if it’s not, don’t hesitate to send it back. For more tips on how keep yourself (and that little dreamer inside you) safe when you dine out, visit FDA’s website at: www.fda.gov/Food/ResourcesForYou/HealthEducators