Raw foods & unpasteurised milk
Foods that are eaten raw
Fruits and some vegetables are often eaten raw. To remove pathogens that may be on them it is important to thoroughly wash the produce. Do this just before eating it. Salads should also be prepared just before eating. Avoid all raw fish and seafood products.
Low-fat milk and milk products (eg, milk, cheese, yoghurt) are important sources of protein and calcium during pregnancy and eating them is encouraged. Pasteurisation of milk greatly reduces pathogen numbers. Most milk products available for sale in New Zealand are pasteurised, however some raw milk cheeses are permitted to be sold and these should not be eaten.
Even for pasteurised products, after opening there is potential for contamination by pathogens that may lead to illness. Listeria can grow at refrigeration temperature to numbers high enough to cause an infection. For this reason, milk products should be kept well covered to prevent contamination. They should ideally be consumed within two days of opening, or used in cooked foods after that two-day period. Soft, pasteurised cheeses (including brie, camembert, blue, ricotta, mozzarella and feta) should generally not be eaten uncooked while you are pregnant. However, if these products are purchased in the manufacturer’s original packaging, they can be eaten in small quantities immediately after opening. Do not reseal cheeses and eat them later, and do not eat if they have been repackaged in a deli or supermarket as they may become contaminated with pathogens.
Raw milk and raw milk products (such as unpasteurised milk drunk on a farm and cheeses made from unpasteurised milk) should not be eaten.