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During pregnancy, the consumption of raw food is one of the main sources of high-risk pathogens. For example, cheeses made with fresh milk may contain Listeria monocytogenes, raw sausages may carry Toxoplasma gondii, and raw fish and shellfish may contain anisakis.
Sometimes it is forgotten that the main ingredient in homemade mayonnaise is raw egg, one of the foods not recommended in pregnancy. We tell you what are the dangers of taking homemade mayonnaise in pregnancy.
Listeria monocytogenes is a food pathogen of great importance during pregnancy, since it can cause miscarriages, premature deliveries or even the death of the fetus depending on which trimester it contracts, but pathogens, such as anisakis, do not directly affect the baby, but that can cause a stomach reaction, and sometimes allergic, of some seriousness in the mother. In the case of Toxoplasma gondii, the risk of contamination by sausages is minimal, but it seems advisable to take extreme precautions.
The recommendation not to consume raw eggs or any type of sauce made with them is based on the probability of contracting salmonellosis, a food poisoning whose symptoms and consequences, although not excessively serious under normal conditions for an adult, worsen during pregnancy, which may harm the baby. Therefore, lor it is more advisable not to consume homemade mayonnaise in pregnancy.
Mayonnaise is an emulsion made from eggs and vegetable oils that is used as a cold sauce in many dishes. Although home-made dishes are usually healthier and more nutritious, in microbiological and / or food matters, in the particular case of mayonnaise, it is generally the opposite. Homemade mayonnaise involves emulsifying raw eggs with oil, while its commercial version, which can be found in supermarkets, is made with pasteurized eggs..
Pasteurization is a thermal process that tries to control pathogenic microorganisms in food without altering in excess its physical and chemical properties, or its organoleptic characteristics. In reality, its objective is not to eliminate all microorganisms, but only to decrease microbial populations so that they do not cause food poisoning. This treatment can be more or less aggressive in terms of time and temperature, and also varies depending on the food that is pasteurized.
The whole egg and the yolk are somewhat more resistant than the white, which only admits temperatures below 60ºC. To guarantee the destruction of Salmonella, the treatment of the product at 64.5ºC for 2 and a half minutes is usually considered valid, increasing the time if a possible contamination by abnormally high Salmonella is considered.
It is possible to pasteurize eggs at home, keeping them at a temperature below 65ºC for 4 minutes, although, from a microbiological point of view, during pregnancy it is still safer to use commercial mayonnaise.
Although they seem excessive, food bans during pregnancy try to protect the health of the mother and baby, so it is convenient to follow them during the 9 months of pregnancy.
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