Thanksgiving is one week away. It's my favorite holiday, complete with family, friends, and delicious food. This year there are a few extra considerations I will have to make in my very pregnant state. While the mashed potatoes, squash, cranberries, and vegetable medleys are all safe, the following feast day staples may require extra consideration before consumption.
The Bird: For most, turkey is a Thanksgiving essential. In order to ensure it's safe for pregnant consumption, the turkey should reach a temperature of at least 180 degrees Fahrenheit (a thermometer should be inserted in the thickest part of the thigh). Eating an undercooked turkey puts you risk for salmonella poisoning.
Stuffing: It's difficult to make certain the stuffing stuffed inside the turkey is fully cooked. If the cavity of the turkey does not reach 165 degrees Fahrenheit, it's not hot enough to kill the bacteria inside the bird. Therefore, when expecting, the safest stuffing to eat is a recipe cooked in a seperate pan.
Soft or Unpasteurized Cheese: If your pre-feast appetizers include baked brie or other soft cheeses like goat, Gorgonzola, Camembert or Roquefort, you'll likely have to pass this year. These cheeses are unpasteurized and may contain harmful levels of bacteria. Instead, opt for a sharp chedder or swiss.
Cocktails: My family enjoys celebrating our Thanksgiving feast with plenty of wine and champagne. While there are many different beliefs about how safe wine consumption is during pregnancy, the general rule of thumb is to avoid it. Instead, try one of these non-alcoholic recipes, like this Winter Warmer or non-alcoholic champagne.
Cider: If hot or cold cider graces your Thanksgiving day table, make sure it's pasteurized. While homemade ciders are delicious, they tend to be unpastuerized and therefore are at risk for containing dangerous levels of E. coli. Most commercial brands are safe to drink as long as they have a label clearly indicating that they are made from pastuerized ingredients. An option I have had on my weekly grocery list this fall is Martinelli's Sparkling Apple Cider. It's bubbly and delicious!
For a complete list of holiday foods to avoid with a "bun in the oven" visit BabyCenter. They have a thorough guide that includes a goldmine of helpful information. Happy feasting!