The bacteria listeria can be found in many foods and doesn’t always result in ill effects. However, pregnant women are more susceptible to contracting listeriosis (the illness contracted by ingesting it) than nonexpectant adults. In fact, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report that moms-to-be are 20 times more likely to become infected with listeriosis than their nonpregnant peers. To avoid it, simply skip unpasteurized products (like soft cheeses), and heat all ready-to-eat foods, like hot dogs and deli meat, to steaming before eating.
While expecting, you’ll need to avoid swordfish, tilefish, king mackerel, shark and other fish that carry high levels of the metal methyl-mercury, which can harm your fetus’s developing nervous system. Shrimp, salmon, canned light tuna and catfish are all OK to eat, but if you’re unsure about a certain fish, do a quick Google search.
Although this rare (but serious) blood infection is most commonly associated with the litterbox, it can also be contracted by eating undercooked meat or contaminated fruits and veggies. To avoid toxoplasmosis, delegate kitty litter duty, wash your hands after handling raw meat, cook meat thoroughly (or order it well done), and scrub produce with a fruit and veggie wash.