Tag Archives: Listeria

Viburnum cassinoides

Botanical Name : Viburnum cassinoides
Family: Adoxaceae
Genus: Viburnum
Species:V. nudum
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Dipsacales

Synonyms: V. nudum cassinoides. (L.)Torr.&Gray.

Common Name: Withe Rod, Appalachian Tea, Witherod Viburnum, Witherod, Wild Raisin Viburnum,Blue haw

Habitat :Viburnum cassinoides is native to Eastern N. America – Newfoundland to Manitoba, Minnesota, New Jersey, Georgia and Alabama.
It grows on the thickets, clearings, swamps and borders of woods.

Description:
Viburnum cassinoides is a deciduous Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in) at a medium rate.

It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. Leaves are opposite, simple, dull dark green leaves; 1.5 to 3.5 in. long; bronze to purple-tinged new growth; orange-red, dull crimson and purple fall color. Flowers are creamy white with yellow stamens in early summer on 2 to 5 in. flat-topped cyme; fruit changes from green to pink to red then blue and black. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects.The plant is not self-fertile….CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES

Suitable for: light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. Suitable pH: acid and neutral soils. It can grow in semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.
Cultivation:
Landscape Uses:Border, Hedge, Massing, Screen, Specimen. An easily grown plant, it succeeds in most soils but is ill-adapted for poor soils and for dry situations. It dislikes chalk, growing best on lime-free soils. Prefers a deep rich loamy soil in sun or semi-shade. Best if given shade from the early morning sun in the spring. This species is closely allied to V. nudum. Plants are self-incompatible and need to grow close to a genetically distinct plant in the same species in order to produce fertile seed. There is at least one named variety, selected for its ornamental value. ‘Nanum’ has a dwarf habit and the leaves have a rich autumn colouring. Special Features:North American native, Fragrant flowers, Attractive flowers or blooms.

Propagation:
Seed – best sown in a cold frame as soon as it is ripe. Germination can be slow, sometimes taking more than 18 months. If the seed is harvested ‘green’ (when it has fully developed but before it has fully ripened) and sown immediately in a cold frame, it should germinate in the spring. Stored seed will require 2 months warm then 3 months cold stratification and can still take 18 months to germinate. Prick out the seedlings into individual pots when they are large enough to handle and grow them on in a cold frame or greenhouse. Plant out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of soft-wood, early summer in a frame. Pot up into individual pots once they start to root and plant them out in late spring or early summer of the following year. Cuttings of half-ripe wood, 5 – 8 cm long with a heel if possible, July/August in a frame. Plant them into individual pots as soon as they start to root. These cuttings can be difficult to overwinter, it is best to keep them in a greenhouse or cold frame until the following spring before planting them out. Cuttings of mature wood, winter in a frame. They should root in early spring – pot them up when large enough to handle and plant them out in the summer if sufficient new growth is made, otherwise keep them in a cold frame for the next winter and then plant them out in the spring. Layering of current seasons growth in July/August. Takes 15 months.

Edible Uses:
Fruit – raw or cooked. The scant flesh is sweet and well flavoured, hanging on the plant well into the winter. The oval fruit is about 10mm long and contains a single large seed. The leaves are used as a tea substitute. A pleasant taste. The leaves are steamed over boiling water, rolled between the fingers, allowed to stand overnight and then dried in an oven to be used as required.

Medicinal Uses:
The bark and root bark is antispasmodic, diaphoretic, febrifuge and tonic. An infusion has been used to treat recurrent spasms, fevers, smallpox and ague. The infusion has also been used as a wash for a sore tongue.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.

Resources:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viburnum_nudum
https://plants.ces.ncsu.edu/plants/all/viburnum-cassinoides/
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Viburnum+cassinoides

Artemisia michauxiana

Botanical Name : Artemisia michauxiana
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Artemisia
Species:A. michauxiana
Kingdom:Plantae
Order: Asterales

Synonyms:
*Artemisia discolor Douglas ex Besser 1836, rejected name not Douglas ex DC. 1838
*Artemisia vulgaris subsp. michauxiana (Besser) H.St.John

Common Names: Mountain Sagewort, Michaux’s wormwood,and Lemon sagewort.

Habitat : Artemisia michauxiana is native to western Canada (Yukon, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan) and the western United States (Alaska, Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, Idaho, Utah, Montana, Wyoming, Colorado). It grows in mountain talus habitats in subalpine to alpine climates
Description:
Artemisia michauxiana is a rhizomatous perennial herb with green, lemon-scented foliage. The plant grows up to 100 cm (40 inches) tall with several erect branches. The leaves are divided into many narrow segments which are hairless or lightly hairy and bear yellowish resin glands. The inflorescence is a spike up to 15 centimeters long full of clusters of small flower heads.

 CLICK & SEE THE PICTURES
The plant is erect, lemon-scented. Stems green, many, unbranched. Leaves about 1 in. long, narrow, divided twice, often with small teeth, matted white hairs on the underside; top side hairless, green, dotted with yellow glands. Flower spikes narrow, 3–6 in. tall with nodding flower heads. Flower cup purplish, dotted with yellow glands, hairless.
Cultivation:
Easily grown in a well-drained circumneutral or slightly alkaline loamy soil, preferring a warm sunny dry position. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer.
Propagation:
Seed – surface sow from late winter to early summer in a greenhouse, making sure that the compost does not dry out. When large enough to handle, prick the seedlings out into individual pots and grow them on in the greenhouse for their first winter. Plant out in late spring or early summer. Division in spring or autumn. Basal cuttings in late spring. Harvest the young shoots when about10 – 15cm long, pot up in a lightly shaded position in a greenhouse or cold frame and plant them out when well rooted. Very easy.

Edible Uses: ….Seed. Further details are not found, but the seed is very small and fiddly to use.

Medicinal Uses:…Poultice….A hot infusion of the plant has been used in the treatment of headaches[257]. A poultice of the chewed plant is applied to sprains and swellings.

Known Hazards: Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people.
Disclaimer : The information presented herein is intended for educational purposes only. Individual results may vary, and before using any supplement, it is always advisable to consult with your own health care provider.
Resources:
http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia+michauxiana
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Artemisia_michauxiana
http://www.pnwflowers.com/flower/artemisia-michauxiana

Listeriosis

Definition:
Listeriosis is a bacterial infection caused by a Gram-positive, motile bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes,which is often found in soil and is present in most animals. It’s transmitted to humans through contaminated food.

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Healthy people rarely become ill from listeria infection, but the disease can be fatal to unborn babies and newborns. People who have weakened immune systems are also at higher risk of life-threatening complications. Prompt antibiotic treatment can help curb the effects of listeria infection.

Listeria bacteria can survive refrigeration and even freezing. That’s why people who are at higher risk for serious infections should avoid eating the types of food most likely to contain listeria bacteria.

The symptoms of listeriosis usually last 7–10 days. The most common symptoms are fever and muscle aches and vomiting. Nausea and diarrhea are less common symptoms. If the infection spreads to the nervous system it can cause meningitis, an infection of the covering of the brain and spinal cord. Symptoms of meningitis are headache, stiff neck, confusion, loss of balance, and convulsions

Symptoms:
If you develop a listeria infection, you may experience:

*Fever
*Muscle aches
*Nausea
*Diarrhea
*Loss of appetite
*Lethargy
*Jaundice
*Vomiting
*Respiratory distress (usually pneumonia)
*Shock
*Skin rash
*Increased pressure inside the skull (due to meningitis) possibly causing suture separation

Symptoms may begin a few days after you’ve eaten contaminated food, but it may take as long as two months before the first signs and symptoms of infection begin.

If the listeria infection spreads to your nervous system, signs and symptoms may include:

*Headache
*Stiff neck
*Confusion or changes in alertness
*Loss of balance
*Convulsions

Symptoms during pregnancy and for newborns ;

During pregnancy, a listeria infection is likely to cause only mild signs and symptoms in the mother. The consequences for the baby, however, may be devastating. The baby may die unexpectedly before birth or experience a life-threatening infection within the first few days after birth.

As in adults, the signs and symptoms of a listeria infection in a newborn can be subtle, but may include:

*Little interest in feeding
*Irritability
*Fever
*Vomiting

Causes:
Listeria bacteria can be found in soil, water and animal feces. Humans typically are infected by consuming:

*Raw vegetables that have been contaminated from the soil or from contaminated manure used as fertilizer

*Infected meat

*Unpasteurized milk or foods made with unpasteurized milk

*Certain processed foods — such as soft cheeses, hot dogs and deli meats that have been contaminated after processing

*Prepacked salads (unless they’re thoroughly washed)

*Pâté made from meat, fish or vegetables

*Blue-veined or mould-ripened cheeses

*Soft-whip ice cream from ice-cream machines

*Precooked poultry and cook-chill meals (unless thoroughly reheated)

*Poor food hygiene and storage practices also increase the risk of someone developing listeriosis

Unborn babies can contract a listeria infection from the mother via the placenta. Breast-feeding is not considered a potential cause of infection.

Risk Factors:
Pregnant women and people who have weak immune systems are at highest risk of contracting a listeria infection.

Pregnant women and their babies
Pregnant women are significantly more susceptible to listeria infections than are other healthy adults. Although a listeria infection may cause only a mild illness in the mother, consequences for the baby may include:


*Miscarriage
*Stillbirth
*Premature birth
*A potentially fatal infection after birth

People who have weak immune systems
This category includes people who:

*Are over 60
*Have AIDS
*Are undergoing chemotherapy
*Have diabetes or kidney disease
*Take high-dose prednisone or certain rheumatoid arthritis drugs
*Take medications to block rejection of a transplanted organ

Complications:
Most listeria infections are so mild they may go unnoticed. However, in some cases, a listeria infection can lead to life-threatening complications — including:

*A generalized blood infection (septicemia)

*Inflammation of the membranes and fluid surrounding the brain (meningitis)

Complications of a listeria infection may be most severe for an unborn baby. Early in pregnancy, a listeria infection may lead to miscarriage. Later in pregnancy, a listeria infection may lead to stillbirth, premature birth or a potentially fatal infection in the baby after birth — even if the mother becomes only mildly ill.

Diagnosis;
In CNS infection cases, L. monocytogenes can often be cultured from the blood, and always cultured from the CSF. There are no reliable serological or stool tests.

Treatment:
Bacteremia should be treated for 2 weeks, meningitis for 3 weeks, and brain abscess for at least 6 weeks. Ampicillin generally is considered antibiotic of choice; gentamicin is added frequently for its synergistic effects.

Prognosis:
Listeriosis in a fetus or infant results in a poor outcome with a high death rate. Healthy older children and adults have a lower death rate.Overall mortality rate is 20–30%; of all pregnancy-related cases, 22% resulted in fetal loss or neonatal death, but mothers usually survive

Prevention:
The main means of prevention is through the promotion of safe handling, cooking and consumption of food. This includes washing raw vegetables and cooking raw food thoroughly, as well as reheating leftover or ready-to-eat foods like hot dogs until steaming hot.

Another aspect of prevention is advising high-risk groups such as pregnant women and immunocompromised patients to avoid unpasteurized pâtés and foods such as soft cheeses like feta, Brie, Camembert cheese, and bleu. Cream cheeses, yogurt, and cottage cheese are considered safe. In the United Kingdom, advice along these lines from the Chief Medical Officer posted in maternity clinics led to a sharp decline in cases of listeriosis in pregnancy in the late 1980s

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/health/physical_health/conditions/listeriosis.shtml
http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/ency/article/001380.htm
http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/listeria-infection/DS00963/DSECTION
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Listeriosis

http://abbybatchelder.com/blog/2009/03/02/is-it-safe-to-eat-deli-meats-and-hot-dogs-during-pregnancy/

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Bacteria and Foodborne Illness

What are foodborne illnesses?

Foodborne illnesses are caused by eating food or drinking beverages contaminated with bacteria, parasites, or viruses. Harmful chemicals can also cause foodborne illnesses if they have contaminated food during harvesting or processing. Foodborne illnesses can cause symptoms that range from an upset stomach to more serious symptoms, including diarrhea, fever, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and dehydration. Most foodborne infections are undiagnosed and unreported, though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that every year about 76 million people in the United States become ill from pathogens, or disease-causing substances, in food. Of these people, about 5,000 die.

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What are the causes of foodborne illnesses?

Harmful bacteria are the most common cause of foodborne illnesses. Some bacteria may be present on foods when you purchase them. Raw foods are the most common source of foodborne illnesses because they are not sterile; examples include raw meat and poultry that may have become contaminated during slaughter. Seafood may become contaminated during harvest or through processing. One in 10,000 eggs may be contaminated with Salmonella inside the egg shell. Produce such as spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, sprouts, and melons can become contaminated with Salmonella, Shigella, or Escherichia coli (E. coli) O157:H7. Contamination can occur during growing, harvesting, processing, storing, shipping, or final preparation. Sources of produce contamination are varied as these foods are grown in soil and can become contaminated during growth or through processing and distribution. Contamination may also occur during food preparation in a restaurant or a home kitchen. The most common form of contamination from handled foods is the calcivirus, also called the Norwalk-like virus.

When food is cooked and left out for more than 2 hours at room temperature, bacteria can multiply quickly. Most bacteria grow undetected because they don’t produce a bad odor or change the color or texture of the food. Freezing food slows or stops bacteria’s growth but does not destroy the bacteria. The microbes can become reactivated when the food is thawed. Refrigeration also can slow the growth of some bacteria. Thorough cooking is needed to destroy the bacteria.

What are the symptoms of foodborne illnesses?

In most cases of foodborne illnesses, symptoms resemble intestinal flu and may last a few hours or even several days. Symptoms can range from mild to serious and include

  • abdominal cramps
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea, which is sometimes bloody
  • fever
  • dehydration

What are the risk factors of foodborne illnesses?

Some people are at greater risk for bacterial infections because of their age or an unhealthy immune system. Young children, pregnant women and their fetuses, and older adults are at greatest risk.

What are the complications of foodborne illnesses?

Some micro-organisms, such as Listeria monocytogenes and Clostridium botulinum, cause far more serious symptoms than vomiting and diarrhea. They can cause spontaneous abortion or death.

In some people, especially children, hemolytic uremic syndrome (HUS) can result from infection by a particular strain of bacteria, E. coli O157:H7, and can lead to kidney failure and death. HUS is a rare disorder that affects primarily children between the ages of 1 and 10 years and is the leading cause of acute renal failure in previously healthy children. A child may become infected after consuming contaminated food or beverages, such as meat, especially undercooked ground beef; unpasteurized juices; contaminated water; or through contact with an infected person.

The most common symptoms of HUS infection are vomiting, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, which may be bloody. In 5 to 10 percent of cases, HUS develops about 5 to 10 days after the onset of illness. This disease may last from 1 to 15 days and is fatal in 3 to 5 percent of cases. Other symptoms of HUS include fever, lethargy or sluggishness, irritability, and paleness or pallor. In about half the cases, the disease progresses until it causes acute renal failure, which means the kidneys are unable to remove waste products from the blood and excrete them into the urine. A decrease in circulating red blood cells and blood platelets and reduced blood flow to organs may lead to multiple organ failure. Seizures, heart failure, inflammation of the pancreas, and diabetes can also result. However, most children recover completely.

See a doctor right away if you or your child has any of the following symptoms with diarrhea:

  • High fever—temperature over 101.5°, measured orally
  • Blood in the stools
  • Diarrhea that lasts more than 3 days
  • Prolonged vomiting that prevents keeping liquid down and can lead to dehydration
  • Signs of severe dehydration, such as dry mouth, sticky saliva, decreased urination, dizziness, fatigue, sunken eyes, low blood pressure, or increased heart rate and breathing rate
  • Signs of shock, such as weak or rapid pulse or shallow breathing
  • Confusion or difficulty reasoning

How are foodborne illnesses diagnosed?

Your doctor may be able to diagnose foodborne illnesses from a list of what you’ve eaten recently and from results of appropriate laboratory tests. Diagnostic tests for foodborne illnesses should include examination of the feces. A sample of the suspected food, if available, can also be tested for bacterial toxins, viruses, and parasites.

How are foodborne illnesses treated?

Most cases of foodborne illnesses are mild and can be treated by increasing fluid intake, either orally or intravenously, to replace lost fluids and electrolytes. People who experience gastrointestinal or neurologic symptoms should seek medical attention.

In the most severe situations, such as HUS, hospitalization may be needed to receive supportive nutritional and medical therapy. Maintaining adequate fluid and electrolyte balance and controlling blood pressure are important. Doctors will try to minimize the impact of reduced kidney function. Dialysis may be needed until the kidneys can function normally. Blood transfusions also may be needed.

How are foodborne illnesses prevented?

Most cases of foodborne illnesses can be prevented through proper cooking or processing of food, which kills bacteria. In addition, because bacteria multiply rapidly between 40°F and 140°F, food must be kept out of this temperature range.

Follow these tips to prevent harmful bacteria from growing in food:

  • Refrigerate foods promptly. If prepared food stands at room temperature for more than 2 hours, it may not be safe to eat. Set your refrigerator at 40°F or lower and your freezer at 0°F.
  • Cook food to the appropriate internal temperature—145°F for roasts, steaks, and chops of beef, veal, and lamb; 160°F for pork, ground veal, and ground beef; 165°F for ground poultry; and 180°F for whole poultry. Use a meat thermometer to be sure. Foods are properly cooked only when they are heated long enough and at a high enough temperature to kill the harmful bacteria that cause illnesses.
  • Prevent cross-contamination. Bacteria can spread from one food product to another throughout the kitchen and can get onto cutting boards, knives, sponges, and countertops. Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from all ready-to-eat foods.
  • Handle food properly. Always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm, soapy water before and after handling raw meat, poultry, fish, shellfish, produce, or eggs. Wash your hands after using the bathroom, changing diapers, or touching animals.
  • Wash utensils and surfaces before and after use with hot, soapy water. Better still, sanitize them with diluted bleach—1 teaspoon of bleach to 1 quart of hot water.
  • Wash sponges and dish towels weekly in hot water in the washing machine.
  • Keep cold food cold and hot food hot.
  • Maintain hot cooked food at 140°F or higher.
  • Reheat cooked food to at least 165°F.
  • Refrigerate or freeze perishables, produce, prepared food, and leftovers within 2 hours.
  • Never defrost food on the kitchen counter. Use the refrigerator, cold running water, or the microwave oven.
  • Never let food marinate at room temperature—refrigerate it.
  • Divide large amounts of leftovers into small, shallow containers for quick cooling in the refrigerator.
  • Remove the stuffing from poultry and other meats immediately and refrigerate it in a separate container.
  • Wash all unpackaged fruits and vegetables, and those packaged and not marked “pre-washed,” under running water just before eating, cutting, or cooking. Scrub firm produce such as melons and cucumbers with a clean produce brush. Dry all produce with a paper towel to further reduce any possible bacteria.
  • Do not pack the refrigerator. Cool air must circulate to keep food safe.

For more information about prevention of foodborne illnesses, the U.S. Department of Agriculture provides a fact sheet on safe food handling.

What is food irradiation?

Food irradiation is the treatment of food with high energy such as gamma rays, electron beams, or x rays as a means of cold pasteurization, which destroys living bacteria to control foodborne illnesses. The United States relies exclusively on the use of gamma rays, which are similar to ultraviolet light and microwaves and pass through food leaving no residue. Food irradiation is approved for wheat, potatoes, spices, seasonings, pork, poultry, red meats, whole fresh fruits, and dry or dehydrated products. Although irradiation destroys many bacteria, it does not sterilize food. Even if you’re using food that has been irradiated by the manufacturer, you must continue to take precautions against foodborne illnesses—through proper refrigeration and handling—to safeguard against any surviving organisms. If you are traveling with food, make sure perishable items such as meats are wrapped to prevent leakage. Be sure to fill the cooler with plenty of ice and store it in the car, not the trunk. If any food seems warmer than 40°F, throw it out.

Links to Other Disorders Related to Foodborne Illnesses

Scientists suspect that foodborne pathogens are linked to chronic disorders and can even cause permanent tissue or organ destruction. Research suggests that when some people are infected by foodborne pathogens, the activation of their immune system can trigger an inappropriate autoimmune response, which means the immune system attacks the body’s own cells. In some people, an autoimmune response leads to a chronic health condition. Chronic disorders that may be triggered by foodborne pathogens are

  • arthritis
  • inflammatory bowel disease
  • kidney failure
  • Guillain-Barré syndrome
  • autoimmune disorders

Further research is needed to explain the link between these disorders and foodborne illnesses.

Common Sources of Foodborne Illness

Sources of illness: Raw and undercooked meat and poultry
Symptoms: Abdominal pain, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
Bacteria: Campylobacter jejuni, E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes, Salmonella

Sources of illness: Raw foods; unpasteurized milk and dairy products, such as soft cheeses
Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea
Bacteria: L. monocytogenes, Salmonella, Shigella, Staphylococcus aureus, C. jejuni

Sources of illness: Raw and undercooked eggs. Raw eggs are often used in foods such as homemade hollandaise sauce, caesar and other salad dressings, tiramisu, homemade ice cream, homemade mayonnaise, cookie dough, and frostings.
Symptoms: Nausea, vomiting, fever, abdominal cramps, and diarrhea
Bacterium: Salmonella enteriditis

Sources of illness: Raw and undercooked shellfish
Symptoms: Chills, fever, and collapse
Bacteria: Vibrio vulnificus, Vibrio parahaemolyticus

Sources of illness: Improperly canned goods; smoked or salted fish
Symptoms: Double vision, inability to swallow, difficulty speaking, and inability to breathe. Seek medical help right away if you experience any of these symptoms.
Bacterium: C. botulinum

Sources of illness: Fresh or minimally processed produce; contaminated water
Symptoms: Bloody diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting
Bacteria: E. coli O157:H7, L. monocytogenes, Salmonella, Shigella, Yersinia enterocolitica, viruses, and parasites

Points to Remember

Foodborne illnesses result from eating food or drinking beverages that are contaminated with bacteria, viruses, or parasites.

People at greater risk for foodborne illnesses include young children, pregnant women and their fetuses, older adults, and people with lowered immunity.

Symptoms usually resemble intestinal flu. See a doctor immediately if you have more serious problems or do not seem to be improving as expected.

Treatment may range from replacement of lost fluids and electrolytes for mild cases of foodborne illnesses to hospitalization for severe conditions such as HUS.

You can prevent foodborne illnesses by taking the following precautions:

  • Wash your hands with warm, soapy water before and after preparing food and after using the bathroom or changing diapers.
  • Keep raw meat, poultry, seafood, and their juices away from ready-to-eat foods.
  • Cook foods properly and at a high enough temperature to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Refrigerate foods within 2 hours or less after cooking because cold temperatures will help keep harmful bacteria from growing and multiplying.
  • Clean surfaces well before and after using them to prepare food.

For More Information

American Dietetic Association
120 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60606–6995
Consumer Nutrition Hotline: 1–800–877–1600
Internet: www.eatright.org

Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition
5100 Paint Branch Parkway
College Park, MD 20740–3835
Food Information Line: 1–888–SAFEFOOD (723–3366)
Internet: www.cfsan.fda.gov

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
1600 Clifton Road
Atlanta, GA 30333
Phone: 1–800–311–3435 or 404–639–3534
Internet: www.cdc.gov

Gateway to Government Food Safety Information
Internet: www.foodsafety.gov

Partnership for Food Safety Education
655 15th Street NW, 7th Floor
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: 202–220–0651
Internet: www.fightbac.org

U.S. Department of Agriculture
1400 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20250
Meat and Poultry Hotline: 1–888–674–6854
Internet: www.usda.gov

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
200 Independence Avenue SW
Washington, DC 20201
Phone: 1–877–696–6775 or 202–619–0257
Internet: www.os.dhhs.gov

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Ariel Rios Building
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20460
Phone: 202–272–0167
Internet: www.epa.gov

U.S. Food and Drug Administration
5600 Fishers Lane
Rockville, MD 20857–0001
Phone: 1–888–INFO–FDA (463–6332)
Internet: www.fda.gov

Source:http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/bacteria/index.htm

Eating for Appropriate Weight Gain During Pregnancy

Years ago, many women thought of pregnancy as their ticket to eat anything they wanted, indulging any and all cravings and leaving portion control by the wayside. After all, they rationalized, they were  eating for two.  That thinking, however, has changed over time, with doctors now advising pregnant women of the risks to both mother and child of excess weight gain during pregnancy.

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Conversely, inadequate weight gain can also pose potential problems. So, how much weight should pregnant women gain and what nutrition guidelines will help them achieve it? This article answers those questions and more with regard to healthful eating during pregnancy.

Guidelines for Weight Gain
Exactly how much weight gain to aim for will vary among women and depends on several factors, including the mother’s pre-pregnancy weight, height, age, and health status, as well as whether or not the birth will involve twins, triplets, or more. See your doctor to determine the best weight gain goal for your individual situation.

In general, the following guidelines are used:

Women beginning pregnancy at a normal weight (defined as body mass index [BMI] of 19.8 to 26) are advised to gain 25 to 35 pounds during pregnancy.
Underweight women (BMI < 19.8) are advised to gain 28 to 40 pounds.
Overweight women (BMI 26 to 29) are advised to gain 15 to 25 pounds.
Obese women (BMI > 29) are advised to gain at least 15 pounds.

Risks of Too Little or Too Much Weight Gain
Gaining the recommended amount of weight is one of many factors that may help ensure a healthy pregnancy. Gaining too little weight can increase the risk for delivering a low–birth weight baby who may be at greater risk for developmental and health problems later on. Gaining too much weight can increase the mother’s risk for conditions such as pregnancy-induced hypertension and gestational diabetes. It may also be a risk factor for long-term obesity in the mother after the pregnancy is over.

Maximizing Nutrition Without Maximizing Calories
The approach to healthful eating during pregnancy is twofold: you want to eat for an appropriate weight gain, but you also want to make sure you and your unborn baby get all the nutrients you need. The best way to do that is to make sure your diet is high in healthful, nutrient-dense foods, and low in foods that provide lots of calories but little nutrition (such as cookies, chips, soda, and pastries).

Registered dietitians recommend using the USDA’s Food Guide Pyramid as a guide for eating from each of the food groups every day. Choose a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean protein, dairy foods, and healthful fats (such as those in olive oil, fish, nuts, seeds, and peanut butter). And be sure to take any prenatal supplements your doctor may have prescribed.

Of course, physical activity also plays a role in pregnancy weight gain. Getting regular exercise during pregnancy may help you achieve your recommended weight gain goal, but be sure to check with your doctor before embarking on any exercise program during pregnancy, especially if you haven’t been exercising regularly before pregnancy.

Pregnancy: No Time for Extreme Diets
Many people wonder if some of today’s popular diets, such as low-carbohydrate diets, are a good way of controlling weight gain during pregnancy. While there is little published data regarding the use of these diets during pregnancy, many nutrition experts advise that pregnancy and breastfeeding are not the time to embark on any type of extreme diet, particularly those that restrict entire food groups from the diet. If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to your doctor before starting any kind of new diet.

A Note About Food Safety:
A discussion of healthful eating during pregnancy would be incomplete without a mention of food safety. While it’s important to eat a variety of foods and get adequate nutrients, it’s also important to avoid certain foods that could pose a risk to you or to your unborn baby.

Here are some of the foodborne illnesses that pose a particular risk to pregnant women:

Listeria. Listeria poisoning during pregnancy may increase the risk for miscarriage, stillbirth, and birth defects. Foods that may be contaminated with listeria include unpasteurized milk, deli meats, hot dogs, and soft cheeses (such as feta, Brie, and blue cheeses).
Mercury and PCB contamination. Some types of fish, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tile fish, may have higher levels of chemical pollutants that can be harmful to unborn babies and small children. Pregnant and breastfeeding women are advised to avoid these types of fish.
E. Coli 0157:H7. This bacterium may be found in raw and undercooked meat and unpasteurized milk. Be sure to cook all meats to appropriate temperatures and avoid cross-contamination by using separate cutting boards for raw and cooked foods.

Source: http://www.beliefnet.com/healthandhealing/getcontent.aspx?cid=38209