Listeria is a bacteria that is found in nature and lives in some foods. Sources of Listeria include most animals, soil, vegetation and sewerage. Because of this, Listeria can easily enter our food chain. An infection with Listeria can cause mild ‘flu-like’ symptoms, urinary tract infections or even quite serious illness. In adults who have an impaired immune system, Listeria can cause illnesses such as meningitis, pneumonia and encephalitis. The bacteria that causes Listeria is called Listeria monocytogenes. In pregnancy this bacteria can pass across the placenta and reach the baby. Listeria during pregnancy can cause abortion, premature rupture of membranes, premature birth and very sick babies. Listeria infections are not new, however it has only been known since 1980’s that it can be passed onto humans through food.
An infection with Listeria can be easily missed as it often presents with vague symptoms. A blood test or a test on the amniotic fluid can identify a Listeria infection. Listeria can be treated with certain antibiotics. If a baby contracts a Listeria infection it can become extremely sick with respiratory problems or meningitis. The baby can even die. Listeria infection is quite rare in Australia, but when it occurs in pregnancy it can have serious complications. It is for this reason that information is now being made available to pregnant women, so that they can make safe choices on the foods to eat during pregnancy.
The bacteria that causes Listeria is sensitive to heat. So by cooking food well, you are able to destroy it. When cooking meats ensure that the meat is cooked right through. Rare meat is not recommended. If you use the microwave to reheat, ensure that the food is steaming hot right through to the centre. While heat destroys Listeria, refrigeration does not. Listeria is one of the few bacteria that are able to grow on food in the refrigerator. So if food has been stored for longer than twelve hours after cooking - it is recommended that you do not eat it. Also avoid chilled ready to eat foods.
The best way to avoid Listeria is by using good food hygiene. The first step is washing your hands before preparing any food. Raw fruit and vegetables should be thoroughly washed before eating. Food should be well cooked; no raw or partially cooked meats and seafood should be eaten in pregnancy. Food should be served piping hot. Do not eat lukewarm food. If using the microwave ensure that the food is well heated through to the centre. Hot soapy water should used to wash all food utensils. It is particularly important to wash chopping boards and knives after preparing raw food. Proper storage of food is essential. Store all your cooked food separately from uncooked products. Make sure that the raw food cannot drip onto cooked food. If you have cooked leftovers, place them straight into the fridge once they have stopped steaming (do not let food cool on the bench). Use all left overs within 12 hours of cooking or alternatively freeze for later use. Ensure that cooled food is kept below 5 degrees Celsius. Also do not eat food that has passed its used by date.
My partner and I eat out a lot. I have heard that take away food is not safe in pregnancy. Is this true?
It is important to be careful when buying take-away food. If it is fresh and piping hot it is safe to eat. If it is lukewarm - avoid it. A lot of takeaway food is cooked and then stored under warming lights until it purchased. It is wise to avoid this type of food. Salad bars and smorgasbords should be avoided if possible. If having to eat from a smorgasbord, choose from the hot food only. By being careful when eating out, you can reduce the risk of eating foods that may be contaminated with Listeria. Do not eat food if you are uncertain about the preparation and/or storage of the food. If you are sensible you can continue to enjoy eating out.
There are certain foods that are considered to be of high risk of Listeria contamination. The foods to avoid in pregnancy include:
Freshly prepared and freshly cooked foods are the safest. It is important to eat a well balanced diet that contains plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, breads, cereals, meat, fish, eggs, lentils and nuts. Ensure meat is well cooked. All hot food should be piping hot. The following foods are safe to eat in pregnancy:
(26th February 2001)
Due to the large number of questions asked on this page, Jane is now unable to respond personally. Please post your question on our "What to Eat in Pregnancy" forum where health professionals and our online community are ready to respond.
150 comment(s) on this page. Add your own comment below.
Hey, I've been really worried about listeria this whole pregnancy especially because i wasnt meant to b able to have any naturally or maybe not at all so she is a miracle..anyway in my first 3months of pregnancy i was staying at my mums as i had severe morning sickness..i went to the fridge and pulled out chicken meat that she had brought from the deli n started eating it, she saw me eating it and said oh no stop eating it it's out of date so i've been really scared that i could have contracted listeria...then on another occasion about 3months ago i accidentally ate out of date ham from the deli, i couldn't belive my luck!!!! I now have only 3weeks n 2days to go till i am due...and im scared that i have caught listeria n my baby will be sick when she's born..what r my chances?? please help im so upset and scared..thank you
Hello, I wanted to know if the listeria in cheese argument is still actually relevant in Australia considering it is (or so I thought) illegal to sell unpasturised cheeses in Australia? All milk and milk products have to be pasturised I thought and I also thought listeria was linked to unpasturised milk products, not to cheese in general?
Hi Elisha - you've asked a very good question. I had to go and research the answer. This is what I found on the Australian and New Zealand Food Authorities website:
Some cheeses have been associated with outbreaks of listeriosis overseas. While soft and very soft cheeses made from raw milk have been often implicated, these outbreaks have also included cheese made from heat-treated milk. All cheeses may be subject to post-process contamination, however the adoption of good manufacturing practices by the dairy industry minimizes the risk of contamination. The fate of L. monocytogenes during cheese ripening is determined by the microbiological, biochemical and physical properties of the particular cheese and its ripening environment. For this reason, at risk consumers should exercise caution with certain types of cheeses. Cheeses that have undergone a heat treatment are safe to consume if packaged, stored and handled correctly. While cheeses sold unpackaged have a greater risk of becoming contaminated from other foods on display.
They have quite a lot of detail on specific cheeses on this page on this page
Hey I'm 17 weeks pregnant and I've recently eaten a little bit of camembert cheese, (probably about 2 table spoons worth) and then shortly after that i felt dull abdominal cramping.. not sure whether this is because of sitting in a car for a few hours or if my pregnancy is at risk because of the food ive eaten... Im a bit worried :\ any advice
If you become unwell with Listeria - generally you experience flu like symptoms. It is unlikely the small amount of camembert cheese has caused the dull abdominal cramping. If concerned -talk to your midwife or doctor
I am 14 weeks pregnant .. wasn't eating well during the last 3 months so when i felt better yesterday I had some pastries stuffed with fetta cheese .. then later on the same day I had a strong stomach ache and diarrhea .. am feeling well today .. but won't be able to see my doctoor untill after one week am very worried of listeria infection .. i wish i will get faster response from you rather than waiting for next week when I see my doctor.
Hi Afrah - Listeria is killed by cooking. If the pastries were cooked (and I am assuming they were) - they are fine to eat. You may have just caught a stomach virus.
21 weeks pregnant and had three mouth fulls of pasturized milk that tasted burnt or off, within one hour of drinking it i had one bout of diarrhea.
Feeling ok now but am still worried about listeria in the bad milk. should i see my doctor
Pasterised milk that is in date is not a food that is at increased risk of containing listeria. If you are unwell consult your midwife or doctor.
Just wanted to clarify the point on cooked feta - does this mean that a tart made at home from ricotta and feta could be contaminated?
Sorry - just thought of another question I wanted to ask!
Are cooked chickens from a supermarket (the deli section) ok given that they are generally in a separate section from all of the other deli products?
Hi Jill - Feta cheese (uncooked) is a food to be avoided in pregnancy. However if you eat a dish that contains Feta that is freshly cooked and served piping hot(prepared either at home or out) is safe to eat (as long as it is made with pasterised milk). Cooked chickens must be consumed as soon as they are cooked (i.e. straight out of the oven). If the chicken has been sitting under warming lights - it is to be avoided.
I ate a turkey sandwich today and did not heat it up. This is my first pregnancy, and i didn't know i was suppose too. My Dr has never mentioned Listeria to me. I don't have any flu like symptoms or feel sick. But i am worried now :/ i'm 22 weeks pregnant.
Dear Angela - Many women are not aware of foods that are ideal to avoid in pregnancy and eat them with no effect. Listeria is not a common infection. Avoid cold meats in the future (unless they were cooked in the last 12 hours and stored in the refridgerator). If you have any concerns speak to your midwife or doctor.
Hi I need some advice, My husband handled wrapped raw mince meat and then we shared some potato chips. I then had loose stool and headaches although I have been experiencing headaches my entire pregnancy. Went to the doctor to check and was prescribed antibiotics. The issue is I am allergic to penicilin so was given Bactrim which is untested on pregnant women and comes with its own risks. I had a temp of 37.5 at the time but have had no other symptoms and my stool is completely normal now. If I had listeriosis wouldnt the symptoms be constant and getting worse.
Hi Kate - the symptoms of listeria can be flu like symptoms and some people experience typical signs of food poisoning (such as diarrhoe and vomiting), but some people do not have any symptoms. So in answer to your question - if you had listeria you generally recover just like you would from any other illness. Unfortunately you are not able to test to see if you had listeria.
Ok well I feel fine now and have no temp at all. I dont think one loose stool is enough to warant the antibiotics that havent been tested properly. Bubs is moving heaps and I have had no tenderness to the abdomen so Im hoping it was just an over reaction on my part. There was no blood on the meat wrapper and was straight from the fridge at the supermarket.... I only had two chips and my hands were clean and I think the liklyhood of my hubby cross-contaiminating is low. Not like I ate raw meat. Other than this mishap I have been a complete nazi about food so I am hoping I havent done any damage. I did to a stool test at the docs and waiting on the results so Im hoping it all comes back negative. Otherwise I dont know what the treatment is for bubs... FINGERS CROSSED
Hi I am 6 weeks pregnant and noticed a lot of talk about not being allowed to eat runny/fried eggs. I have eaten them and need to know if this is unsafe? As all the women seem to be from the USA and the UK. My doctor never said anything about eggs. Please help.
I caught listeria from a chicken burger when i was 9 months pregnant and have got to say dindnt know i had it as it felt just like my usual morning sickness it wasnt untill i went in to labour that i relised i had it and had to have an emergancy c-section. i didnt really cause me much damage a course of antibiotics and i was fine but my little girl was so poorly on life support thank god she pulled through and now is a happy healthy toddler but i am now 7 weeks pregnant and will be watching what i eat so carefully you never can be to careful
Hi im 11 and a half weeks pregnant and just want to know if i can eat cheese and bacon rolls, they are normally cooked fresh everyday? Also can i eat any sort of pizza, i nornally eat pepperoni but have stayed away so far, but i really feel like it. Thanks
I am 6 weeks pregnant and have only just found out at 6 weeks, i have ate feta cheese, camebert, and brie in the 6 weeks before i found out. should i consult my Gp?
Hi Natalia - if the cheese and bacon rolls are freshly cooked and stored correctly they should be okay. If they've been sitting at room temperature for quite some time I am not so sure. Pizza that is freshly cooked and piping hot is fine to eat.
Hi Amanada - the chances of catching listeria is very low. Just be careful what you eat from now on. If concerned mention what you've eaten to your GP at your next visit.
I want to know if chicken nuggets from mc donalds safe. They were not pipping hot when I ate them. Do you know mc donalds follow a policy on how long food is kept? I am realy concered now Im 4weeks and 5days along When I came home I eperiencd a softer than usual bowel movement I am really scarred now. I ve already had a silent miscarrige. Im scared it will happen again.
Dear Susann - I do not know what McDonald's food storage guidelines are. Please remember that it is very rare to catch listeria. The safe eating guidelines are to reduce that risk further. Talk to your midwifer or doctor if you are concerned.
I'm 19 weeks pregnant and had loose watery stools for 4 days. I have given a sample ( on a sat morning) and am waiting for result. I'm staying hydrated but cannot stop the gastro, I have a small amount of lower back pain but no other symptoms. I'm getting worried as things don't seem to be improving and I'm frightened of damage to the baby. Do you think I have cause for alarm?? I have been told it will probably be 2 more days before stool results- I don't know whether to just go to a hospital?? Thanks
Hi Michelle - You can call the midwives at the hospital for advise. Tell them what is going on and they will be able to advise whether or not you need to be seen. I hope your gastro clears up soon.
Thanks Jane, since posting I have had some dry toast and been no problems for 5 hours, so will see how I go tonight and call midwives if I end up in bathroom all night again
My sister is pregnant and wants a cheesecake for her birthday but isn't having one as she's worried about listeria. My readings lead me to believe that cheesecake (homemade) would be fine to eat fresh. I understand that cooked is better but she prefers uncooked. It appears that pre-packaged cream cheese is ok to eat but I just wanted confirmation before making her one. SO is cream cheese ok to eat when prenant?
I ate store bought hommus dip that was opened say about 6 days ago, after i ate this the container said consume after 4 days of opening.. on your website it says to eat it within 2 days.. i am 36 weeks pregnant and terrified i have contracted listeria , i have tried to be as careful as possible during this pregnancy. please advise.
Hi Anita - choosing safe cheese in pregnancy can be confusing. Cream cheese is okay to eat in pregnancy as long as it has been stored correctly and used in date.
Hi Andrea - The chances of you contracting listeria are extremely small. If you've been unwell contact your midwife or doctor
Hi Jane. Just wanted to double check that eating cooked smoked salmon (e.g. in a pasta dish) is ok as I've read a few terrible reports on the amount of listeria found in some. Thanks
I wanted to ask if eating pizza (chicken bbq- Papa Johns) that has been left out overnight is safe to eat???
We ordered pizza and ate it about 6pm last night and left it overnight out the fridge. I thought it was safe and have eaten a slice approx 11am and have now found out it is a huge no no.
I am 37 weeks 3 days pregnant and have had complications this pregnancy and may be induced next week- Ive had such a tough pregnancy and now this. I am HUGELY worried please could you reply and let me know I am so scared, Many thanks
Hi I am 16 weeks pregnant and for the past week I have been suffering with loose stools. It started last weekend after i ate some Chinese food at a birthday. I've been to my Gp mid week who told me it's prob just a tummy bug, but the loose stools have not gone yet. I feel otherwise ok but I am starting to get worried. What should my next step be? Are loose stools a sign of listeria? Thanks.
Hi Jane- I was just wondering if it is ok to eat sausages? I'm 7 weeks pregnant and have read conflicting advice on this topic. Thanks.
Sorry everyone I've been away on holidays.
Emma it is preferable not to eat pizza left out as it hasn't been stored properly which increases risk of food poisoning. You cannot undo what has happened. Discuss any concerns with your midwife or doctor. Remember that Listeria is a rare infection.
Sausages that have been stored correctly, cooked and served piping hot are fine to eat.
Hi, I went to a 1st birthday party on the weekend where I had a very small serve of cheesecake that (unbeknown to me) had been sitting at room temp for a few hours! A day later I have a consistent ache in my right hip to r) back! I've also got a dry cough! Is this possible listeria? Kidney infection? I'm really worried!
Hi, I'm 34 weeks pregnant and just recently realised that a stir through sauce I've been eating contains a small amount of Ricotta cheese. I feel so stupid as I've been absolutely vigilant about safe foods (I have an anxiety disorder) to the point of basically living on bread, water and vegies and didn't think to check the ingredients in a cheesy pasta sauce. I'm terrified that I've contracted Listeria. Can you please tell me what my chances are. I have no symptoms at all and have been well throughout the pregnancy. Should I see my GP? I think the last time I ate the sauce was several weeks ago. Thanks.
Hi Jane I am 9 weeks pregant and trying to be very careful about what I eat. I can't find information on things like a pre packed curry in coles ? is this ok to eat ? It is in the chiller cabinet and you heat at home, I don't want to eat anything that might cause a problem. Also things like cakes or pastrys in the supermarket that are not in packets, the "fresh" stuff in the cabinets in the bread area. Most of the other items I have found on websites but these I can find, can you please help ?
Hi Lisa and Hayley - Any prepared or packaged food that been stored properly, is eaten in date and heated through to piping hot is safe to eat in pregnancy. Cooking kills the Listeria bacteria. Cakes and pastries are not on the foods to avoid list.
Thanks Jane. The main reason I was worried was that I only stirred the sauce through freshly boiled ravioli, it wasn't "cooked" as such. The sauce was hot when I ate it, but not cooked. I am very concerned about this as I now feel as though I am coming down with a cold which I am told is the symptoms for Listeria. I am just so worried that a silly careless mistake on my part could be endangering the life of my baby. If anything goes wrong I will never forgive myself :(
Hi, I was just wondering if I am allowed to eat soft serve ice cream, I am 15 weeks pregnant, I love my thickshakes, thanks for the advice
Hi Lisa - while it's important to avoid high risk foods, remember the actual risk of catching Listeria is quite rare. If your sauce was stored properly it is probably quite low risk. If you are concerned in the future - heat the sauce through. There are quite a lot of colds and flu at the moment. If you are concerned though - speak to your midwife or doctor.
Hi Rebecca - unfortunately soft serve ice cream should be avoided in pregnancy.
Thanks for all the great advice. I am concerned about something. I ate a rissole yesterday from a takeaway shop near where I work . The shop owner assured me it had been cooked just 10 minutes before I came in (it was in the "warmer" when I came in). They also cut it in half and put it back on the grill/hot plate for me for a couple of minutes (although I was not timing) to make sure it was "well done". I ate most of it but then started worrying. Am I at any risk of listeria by eating this? I have had a few stomach cramps late this arvo but think this might be from an orange I ate earlier today that did not quite agree with me. You advice would be much appreciated. I am 21 weeks pregnant.
I was wondering if you can eat ham(deli ham),cheese and tomato toasted sandwhiches? If so is cooking it till the cheese is melted enough to kill the bacteria?Thanks
Hi, I know I'll probably sound paranoid, I just ate a soft serve cone not realising it was on the 'dont eat' list. Im freaking out! Am i paranoid or is there something i need to do??
I got a fast food burger this evening for tea which wasn't piping hot when my husband brought it home. I then reheated it in the microwave until it was really hot - too hot to eat at first. I am 7 weeks pregnant and did this really without thinking and am now worried.
I ate some cheese 3 days ago, and only realised after that it was mouldy. It was grated red leicester and the mould was very small. I have seen my midwife who says i should be fine, but i have experienced loose stools n feeling slighty sick, with a dizzy type feeling since. I can keep all liquids and foodstuffs down. I'm 26 weeks and completely terrified about Listeria.
I am going to answer Alle's to Marg's questions in one post. I apologise for the delay in answering as I have been working on a book (and had to meet a deadline).
Alle it sounds like the rissole from the takeaway shop was freshly cooked and piping hot - so not an at risk food.
Sarah I would avoid the ham as it is not cooked.
Rox no there is nothing you need to do. Just remember that Listeria infection is very uncommon.
Lisa if the burger was freshly made, brought straight home and then you've reheated it should be fine.
Yoghurt isn't on the foods to avoid list. So if it's properly prepared and stored it should be fine.
I have a couple of questions - is it okay to drink milk that has been frozen (also is it okay to drink it while it is defrosting in the fridge, with some of it still frozen)? Also I ate a mandarin that had a best before date of 22 Sept on the 26 Sept. Is this okay? Also I think the cereal I was eating has weevils in it - should I be worried that I may have eaten some of them? I am 11 weeks.
Hi Lana - yes milk is fine to drink that is defrosting as long as it is consumed within 24 hours. I didn't know mandarins had used by dates:)Regarding whole fruit with the skin on - ripe fruit is fine to eat. If it is starting to spoil avoid eating it.
Jane, many thanks for all of the information you provide. So, I had an organic peach that had started to go a bit moldy on one end. Not wanting to waste it, I cut off that part, rinsed the rest thoroughly, and ate it. Later, I recalled what a silly thing that was to do, and my husband thinks I'm a bit of a lunatic for worrying about it. Could listeria have been present on the peach? I know that what's done is done and that listeria infections are rare - I'm just curious. Thanks.
I stupidly ate smoked salmon and I realise I shouldn't have. Should I get a listeria test or only if I develop flu like symptoms? I'm 10 weeks pregnant.
Hi Jane, is it possible to get listeriosis from eating about 2 coffee spoons of chopped smoked wild salmon? I am concerned because on the next day I developed sore throat and runny nose.
Is the amount of infected food related to the possibility of getting the disease? I mean, does it make a difference whether you just have a bite or you eat a whole dish?
Nic - while eating unspoiled fruit and vegetables is ideal it is unlikely that you will contract listeria from your peach.
Bridie and Irina - it is a great idea to avoid smoked foods in pregnancy. However you cant undo what you've eaten. Just remember listeria is rare and a common cold is not (the most likely cause of your sore throat and runny nose Irina). However if you are concerned speak to your midwife or doctor - they can take a full history and advise you whether or not testing for listeria is necessary.
It's actually fairly uncommon to get listeria. Less than 100 people in Australia get it a year. I really would stress about it.
iam almost 7 weeks pregnent and iate cooked caneloni with spanish and ricotta also i ate soft serve of ice cream is there any harm for the baby?
Hi,I have been looking on the internet a lot to find an answer to this question,but there isn't anything on it. Can I eat store bought vegetable dips? I have been eating an eggplant/ shallot dip (that is packaged).
I am currently 13 weeks pregnant. Yesterday I took my other children to a play center where I had a milk shake with no cream and normal ice cream and a potato cake, about 30 mins after eatting this I had a stomach cramp and went to toliet. I have been 5 times since yesterday lunch time. I have no temp, not vomiting and eating like anything but have dull stomach pain. Will the baby be ok?
Hi there, l was wondering if you can get listeria from eating green olives? I'm 26 weeks pregnant...
Hi Jane, Question about packaged & refrigerated cold meat, not sitting in deli. Can't quite find an answer to it. Is chicken/ham sliced meat that is packed in plastic ok to consume? Is it any better toasted or heated then toasted. I am early in my prgnancy. Thanks.
I had dinner at my parents last night & my dad started making a salad & then used the knife to cut raw chicken (different chopping board though),then he cut more veges with the same knife & added it to the salad. He said he washed the knife but I don't know how well he washed it or if he even washed his hands. I've been so worried today about getting listeria poisoning from the salad. I'm 16 weeks pregnant.
Hi Sarah - if the store bought vegetable dips are within their best by date - they should be fine to eat.
Hi Mel - whenever eating out make sure the food is freshly prepared and cooked. If you've been unwell - speak to your midwife or doctor for advise. It is unlikely that you contracted food poisoning within 30 minutes of eating the food.
Hi Rina - Olives are not on the foods to avoid list
Hi Mon - Deli meats are on the foods to avoid in pregnancy list. I am unsure if pre-packaged foods are okay. If you cook any properly stored cold meats - this will kill listeria and therefore is safe to consume in pregnancy.
Hi Laura - It is important to separate chopping boards and utensils between those used to prepare raw chicken and salad vegetables. Hot soapy water is needed as well as careful drying. Just remember that Listeria is very rare and unlikely to occur.
Hi Dina - It is okay to eat cooked caneloni with spanish and ricotta. Soft serve ice cream should be avoided in pregnancy.
Hi. I was at a party on the weekend and ate about 3 slices of cold ham. The next day I had a really bad headache and a slight temperature. It was a hot day so I figured I was dehydrated. Drank lots of water yesterday and am feeling normal again today. Baby is moving around a lot. Is there any chance that I have contracted listeria? How common is listeria in Australia? Is there seriously much chance of getting it?
Hi I was eating some hard regular cheese with crackers without looking at what I was doing. When I went to grab another slice I noticed the cheese was covered in mould. I only ate a mouthful. I am 27 weeks pregnant and very worried I could have hurt my babies. Can you get Listeria from regular cheese that has had mould growing on it??? I have asked two different midwives and recieved conflicting answers.
Hi Jane - Last night I was eating soup and noticed something on the back of my spoon. I looked and realized it was raw egg that had not come off in the dishwasher - and it had been sitting in the dishwasher for several hours before I got it! I am almost 26 weeks pregant and scared that I may have eaten the bacteria and that it may have been contaminated with Listeria. Should I be concerned? Thanks!!!!
Hi Janelle - Listeria is very rare in Australia
Hi Trina - It is ideal to avoid cheese with mould - however please remember that Listeria is a rare infection.
Hi Dina - Dishwashers usually wash dishes at quite high temperatures. It is unlikely that the egg will cause a problem. If concerned talk to your midwife or doctor.
I went to a party last night and ate a half of a sandwich with deli roast beef meat on it. I normally would not do this, but I did. This morning I developed nausea, one bout of loose stools, and then muscle aches. I am starting to feel better now, but am very worried about listeria. Can the symptoms start that quick and is it likely that I have contracted it? I am 28 weeks pregnant.
Hi, I'm 10 weeks pregnant with my 2nd. During the first I remember avaoiding eggs with running yolks. This time around I cant seem to find any advice saying to avoid runny eggs so I'm wondering if they are safe or not? Thanks
Hi April - It is very uncommon to contract Listeria. If concerned talk to your midwife or doctor.
Hi Danielle - yes the recommendation is to cook eggs through in pregnancy.
Hello, yesterday I was feeling queasy, so called into a shop and bought a meat pie with mashed potato on top. The pie was warm, but no where near piping hot. Late afternoon I had a little diarrhea and last night and today have a bad headache and neck is aching. Could I have contracted listeria? It is hard to get into my dr and haven't met a midwife yet as I'm only 11 weeks. Please help.
Hello, please help, I went to a very nice restaurant and we were served an entre of beef that was raw. I ate it without thinking and I hate myself! I am now so scared and worried. I don't feel sick at all except for being sick with worry. Can I do anything? So scared. I am 6 months pregnant.
Hi, I prepare my own salad for lunches to take to work. I thoroughly wash everything, make a big batch and then have it for lunch for the next 3-4 days. I'm 31 wks pregnant. Is this safe??
I have had Oporto chicken burgers a couple of times and it had lettuce on it. I didnt realise that salad on a burger is a no no. On a week that i didnt eat it, i had strong cramps/wind pain which lasted for 4 hours but then went. I havnt had any flu like symptoms, but i have read that listeria can have no symptoms. For the last 2 weeks, i have also been having yellow urine and yellow discharge. Can all this be linked to listeria, as i am concerned i might have it?
Hi Carmen - It is a great idea to avoid food that is stored in warming cupboards (as they may have been there for some time). It may just be a coincidence that you are unwell after eating the pie. I hope that you've been able to talk to either your midwife or doctor.
Hi Rachael - Please remember that Listeria is quite rare. If you have remained well it is highly unlikely that you've contracted listeria.
Hi Kirstin - Salad is a great thing to have for lunch - put it is much better if you can prepare your salad daily.
Hi Emma - if the lettuce is freshly prepared and put on a burger it is safe to eat. Salad bars are the thing to avoid. Speak to your midwife about any unusual symptoms you are experiencing.
Thankyou for answering my previous question.
I was also wondering, for my lunch break at work (for approx one hour) i sit in my car (which is in part shade, and sun) but i have all the windows down and allow a breeze in. I dont get myself overheated and if it is a really hot day i dont do it (i normally do it on a 20 degree day). I havnt really thought about it until now, but can i overheat myself with out knowing? Is it dangerous? Please help!
Hi Kate I have been really diligent during my pregnancy, but tonight I unwittingly ordered noodles at a restaurant that had fresh bean sprouts on top. I stupidly ate a handful before realizing my mistake. How long do I have to wait before I can feel safe about the risk of contracting listeria/e.coli? the sprouts looked fresh and clean and the restaurant is fairly well-frequented. Thanks!
I am 16 weeks pregnant and last night I had take thai food at a restaurant. I am concerned because they served cold satay sauce which I ate. Can cold satay sauce carry bacteria or be related to listeria? Your help would be appreciated. My last pregnancy was a missed miscarraige so I am feeling anxious about this one. Thanks
My cousin's had it and was treated last month but her baby girl was born with this and now being treated however the Dr's have no idea on the baby's prognosis. On fact they were surprised she was not still born. She was induced 4 weeks early. She is only now 5 days old. They have her nursing the baby so she can gain weight and now has jaundice. Any answers would be much appreciated as we all are so worried!
I was unaware that I was supposed to reheat leftovers and I ate a chicken burger that was barbequed last night (it was not made from scratch, it was a frozen variety from a high quality meat distributor) but I ate it cold. What is the chance that I could have contracted listeria and passed it to my child?
Thank goodness I found your information, I'm worried about having contact with new born lambs ( bottle feeding) There seem to be some scary infections you can contract...what are the chances of contracting infections such as Listeriosis and Toxoplasmosis when having had contact for approx. 3 days of bottle feeding newborn lambs...how common are these infections being contracted from sheep? Just so happens I may have caught a cold after this contact which worries me as flu like symptoms are so vague when descibing these infection's symptoms....Thanks so much for your time. Michaela 15 weeks pregnant...Spoke to my midwife who had never heard about infections from sheep and then said it was probably only a small chance anyway....still worried though.
Hi Emma - No you can't overheat yourself without knowing. When a woman becomes overheated that is of concern she would be feeling very uncomfortable herself.
Hi Eloise - While it is a good idea to avoid bean sprouts - it is very unlikely that eating a handful would cause a problem. If you felt flu like symptoms see your midwife or doctor.
Hi Amber - Cold satay sauce is not on the foods to avoid list
Hi Kimberly - I am very sorry that your cousin contracted Listeria - it is very rare. It can be caught from eating contaminated food. Some foods are at higher risk of containing the Listeria bacteria.
Hi Stephanie - the chances of contracting Listeria are extremely low. Just remember to reheat leftovers in the future.
Hi Michaela - Listeria is caught from eating food that is contaminated with the Listeria bacteria. Toxoplasmosis is found in many animals - but the most common one is cats. You can develop an infection from toxoplasmosis by carelessly handling cat litter, eating contaminated soil and eating raw or undercooked meat (lamb, pork, and beef). So bottlefeeding lambs will not lead to either Listeria or toxoplasmosis.
I am quite concerned about a few things relating to listeria prior to me knowing I was pregnant. 1. When I would have been 3 weeks I had cold chicken breast from the fridge that my husband had cooked the night before. 2. At 3 weeks I had deli meats and feta at a christening that was put out on the tables prior to our arrival. The following day a was achy all over very tired and felt like I had a viral infection/flu with hot flushes (I don't think I had a temperature) this lasted for a few days. 3. The day prior to me finding out I was pregnant (4weeks) I wad at a BBQ on a hot day the meat had been left out in the house for about 4 hours and I reheated a piece for one minute in the microwave and ate a two mouthfuls prior to someone realising there was a maggot in the meat. I am so worried I have contracted listeria. Are my chances low?
Just found out that am 8wks pregnant this week. I was at my mums place few weeks ago had fresh seafood for lunch. I ate heaps of oysters on the day and didn't get sick at all. Am worried that it may effect baby? Should I consult GP? Thanks
Hi. Just wondering if eating kabas in the wrap form should be avoided? I ate one Monday and have had very soft and watery stools for just over a day now. My daughter also came home from Kindy sick the same day with gastro so maybe I could of been from that?
Hi Melissa - cold chicken breast cooked and eaten within 12 hours should be fine to eat. Talk to your midwife or doctor about your symptoms following the Christening - it could be a virus, gastro or Listeria (though this is unlikely). Heating the BBQ meat should have killed Listeria (as long as it was pipping hot right through). Not advisable to eat meat not stored correctly though. As I've stated in my previous posts listeria rare and viruses and gastro illness are more likely. But if at any time you are concerned talk to your midwife or doctor.
Hi Carol - it is unlikely that you've contracted Listeria. Just avoid uncooked seafood in the future. If concerned talk to your midwife or doctor.
Hi Sarah - The meat used in Kabas generally should be avoided as it has been heating for ages. It is just safer not to eat it. You most likely contracted Gastro from your daughter. Talk to your midwife or doctor about your concerns.
Hi I was wondering if it is a safe to eat a big mac during pregnancy? I really want one but am not sure if it's a safe food to eat especially with the lettuce on it.
I am 21 weeks pregnant and I unwittingly ate some of a prepackaged wrap that was 3 months past its 'best before' date today. The package had been unopened in the pantry and I did not eat the whole wrap, only a small amount. Could this cause any harm to my baby?
Is Christmas ham off the bone safe to eat. If it's not can I cook it in the oven right through them put back in the fridge?
I find needing to use leftovers within 12 hours of refrigeration very difficult. If I always reheat to steaming hot right through and then keep heating for 1-2 min to be safe, surely any listeria would be killed. Therefore I can use leftovers for up to 2 or 3 days especially as I always get them into the fridge quickly after cooking. Is this ok?
Hi,i was just out for dinner and i ordered chicken breast. I think it was freshly cooked but when it arrived it wasnt piping hot. Was it ok for me to eat it? Im really worried now that ive harmed my baby. Im 21 weeks pregnant. Thanks for any feed back.
I had a Lysteria a few months ago and I had a premature delivery, and unfortunately , the baby was infected and couldn't make it. The OB treat it as a flu since I only had low temp fever. they missed the time to give me antibio.
Hello, I hope you can help. I was giving out of date salad two days ago and since then I have started vomiting, feeling dizzy, hot and very tired. Can you pick up listeria from out of date salad? I am 29 weeks pregnant. Please get back to me as soon as possible I'm worried sick.
I am 16 weeks pregnant and have been very careful about what I can eat and cant eat, especially after suffering 2 previous miscarriages but I had a Mcdonalds chocolate milkshake yesterday and dont know why I didnt associate it with soft serve ice cream!! Im now really concerned about Listeria. Help put my mind at ease.
Hello I am 5 weeks pregnant and recently ate a noodle and vegie soup. I noticed the soup had bean sprouts in it. They looked cooked as they were fairly clear/no longer the white colour they are raw. I don't think I ate any before I realised and picked them all out, however now I am worried as I ate the rest of the soup/broth that the sprouts were originally in. Does this matter? Also, is it safe to eat raw chopped parsley in salads if you wash it and make it yourself? Thank you
Hi.Well, I am at the beginning of my pregnancy (1month). I ate a lot lately without taking into consideration what is good for me and what isn’t. I just didn’t know….Im sooooo afraid now. I hope that nothing bad will happen to my baby. I was wondering whether there is any test that can help me make sure that the baby is ok…thank you
Hi, im 16 weeks pregnant, I had a ham and salad wrap today brought from a cafe, i started eating it (had about 5 bites) and thought the ham tasted abit funny, So i threw it out.. But about a hour after I started feeling sick and kept getting hot flashes, could I have listeria? Would the symptoms start that soon after eating..
Hey I recently ate a lukewarm chicken burger from hungry jacks and ever since then I've slowly developed flu like symptoms.I'm nearly 35wks pregnant.this was eaten about 3 days ago.but other people in my family had sore throats Nd aching aswell. But none of them is getting worse only me. What does all this mean?
Hi I'm 5 weeks pregnant and just found out. I was eating soff cheese, brie, pate & processed cold meats before I found out I was pregnant. I now have a head cold, sore throat, tired & some tummy cramps (tummy cramps I've had for 2 weeks). Could these symptoms be listeria?
Hi Jane, I am 5 weeks pregnant. I cooked a lasagna with ricotta cheese and made a larger portion so that there is left over. It was pipping hot when I ate it. I have a couple of questions: 1) Can I have reheated lasagna with ricotta tomorrow (after 24 hours) if thouroughly reheated and served pipping hot or is it best to get rid of it? 2) Is it safe to freeze lasagna left overs containing ricotta cheese and then to reheath it thouroughly or should I avoid ricotta all together during my pregnancy? Thanks in advance.
Hi, I'm weeks pregnant. I am really careful about what I eat when I am pregnant, so I could kick myself at the moment! Today I was visiting my Grandmother in hospital, and when her lunch came, we decided to go to the cafeteria to grab something aswell. They had the same as what they were serving the patients, so I had mashed potato, beans, baby carrots and roast beef with gravy meal. After I ate it, I realised it had been in a bain maree/ warmer type thing!!The veges were piping hot, but the meat was warm. I am so angry at myslef, it didn't even occur to me. The only other thing they had was pre-packaged sandwiches which I didn't even look at because I know they are a no-no. Am at a big risk of having contracted listeria? Can I have a blood test or something simple to see if I have been infected? Thanks in advance!
Hi was at party came in late and mum said there was sausage rolls on bench so I ate one. I later found out I ate wrong one the tray I ate from had been cooked and left on bench 2 hours will I get sick?
I am about 11-12 wks pregnant. Have had no morning sickness, but after a sore throat yesterday and a restless night, i woke up coughing which made me vomit, and since then i have vomitted again. No cramping or other symptoms, but i did eat smoked chicken from a tin yesterday -im quite paranoid now. I am from NZ. I understand listeria is quite rare, but should i go to the doctor? Am waiting to hear from my midwife.
I accidentally ate a 2 small trident gum sized pieces of smoked salmon today and after reading all this stuff about listeria I am getting really worried. I didn't know it was in the rice I was eating. Should I be worried?
Last night I had loose stools and threw up. This morning I feel fine just a bit dehydrated. Could this be a sign of listeria?
Hi Everyone - due to a huge workload I am no longer able to answer your questions personally. This is something I am not happy about but I have to be realistic about what I can achieve. PBB website now has a wonderful online community where health professionals and others are available to answer your questions. For any questions about Listeria in pregnancy please go to the "What to eat in pregnancy forum".
hi I had a grilled sandwich today, with Goat cheese at a cafe. I had finished eating the sandwich and only then i realised its not safe during pregnancy. I am 12 weeks pregnant and now I am getting a little paranoid. pls tell me whether I am at any risk?
Hi I am 28 wks pregnant. I had chicken soup ramen with egg noodles at a Japanese restaurant. It didn't had any boiled egg but the noodles itself were made from egg. Now I am concerned whether I might catch infection or listeria by eating it. Please advise. The chef at the restaurant said the noodles are mildly cooked.
Hi I'm 25weeks now and my mom made me beef and veg soup I froze it and reheated in microwave. Is this possible that I can get Listerious? It does have pieces of beef in.
Hi,I am 23 Weeks pregnant and i ate chicken luncheon several times last month but i didn't feel anything except watery stool. i don't know whethet there is a risk now or not?
Hi I'm really concerned as I am 8 weeks pregnant and got a thickshake from Wendy's unaware it was something I should consume during pregnancy. Is this enough to cause harm to my baby? Also is cooking with wine dangerous in anyway?
Hi im 35 weeks pregnant, and ate a salad for lunch about 15 min after eating i recived a call from our produce company at work saying we need to recall all iceburg romaine mix lettuce (which is what i ate) after throwing away all our lettuce i recieved an email saying they found listeria in the lettuce, since it takes a few days to show symptoms am i at risk being so close to my due date? i asked my dr. she said not to come in unless i have symptoms but cant waiting cause problems to my unborn child?
Hello, I am about 6 weeks pregnant and have been a little relaxed in my eating habits to be honest. I have in the past week experienced daily cramps and diarrhoea. Is is possible that I may have contracted Listeria or is it possible also that this could be reaction to foreign diet and it does not agree with me? Is Diarrhoea and cramping a symptom of the infection? Also what are the risks to the baby at this early stage and how does it manifest in the womb as the baby is growing? Concerned mum.
Hi. I am freaking out because my husband cooked crumbed chicken breast and he left it on the bench for half an hour to 40 mins before I ate it. It was properly cooked but was not warm when I ate it. I am 12 weeks pregnant.... Is my baby going to be okay?
I am 23 weeks pregnant and we are starting Field trips at the daycare i work at. We do not have access to a microwave or stove while out. Is it safe for me to pack a salad (made at home) with precooked cold chicken breast??? Or do you have any ideas on cold lunches that is safe for me to consume for these summer field trips?
Hiya today i had a pizza that had yesterdays date as the use by date. It smelt fine will me n the baby be ok?
Hi, i've eaten a chef salad for dinner from a local burger joint. Now I am having stomach cramps and i'm worried I have listeria. What should I do?
I am 8 weeks pregnant & this is my 3 pregnancy. I've had 2 miscarriages & am 33, so I am praying that everything will be ok, but I was stupid 2 night ago & had 3 oysters... i stay away from sushi even though i am craving it soooo much & I do stay away from runny eggs, soft cheeses, undercooked meat (always order well done). I need advice on certain foods that I am craving like fettuccine alfredo, pizza (w/o peperoni or sausage), mushrooms (I heard fungi is bad), fruits, yogurt, ice cream (lots of it), beets & carrots (i heard root veggies have listeria). I know I may sound paranoid, but I am scared & worried...
Hi do you know if mozzarella cheese is ok to eat? I had a pannini with mozzarella cheese and pesto and thought it was safe but have since found out that it may not be safe if it wasn't pasteurized and I don't know if it was cos I bought it in a coffee shop. Thanks
Hi I can see a lot of people are worried about listiria and I'm certainly one of them. My pregnancy was completely unplanned and before I found out that I was pregnant I ate oysters, drank beer and wine, had fetta in salads and had cold meats. I found out I was pregnant 6 weeks into my pregnancy. Also 3 weeks before I found out I had a urinary tract infection for which the doctor gave me antibiotics. Before that I had really yellow smelly wee which is rare for me because I drink more than 2 liters if water a day. I mentioned this to my doctor and she said it ok it happens and not to worry about it but I still am and about 2 weeks ago I had flu like symptoms but my husband had a cold at the time. I'm not really sure what to do from here to ensure that my baby will be ok. Any advise?
Hi. Im approaching my second trimester and just really wanted to know if it was safe to eat Soft Serve frozen yogurt? I know frozen yogurt is fine and soft serve IceCream should be avoided but wasn't entirely sure on the consumption of soft serve frozen yogurt?
Hi Jane, have just come across this website. After reading the symptoms of listeria I thought back to two times in my pregnancy where I have had terrible cases of the flu which included shaking, high temp, diarrhea, runny nose and sore throats. The doctor said it was a viral infection and gave me antibiotics and eventually after about 7 days it went away. Could this have been listeria? And if so what potential harm could it have on my baby (now 33 weeks)
Hi Jane, have just come across this website. After reading the symptoms of listeria I thought back to two times in my pregnancy where I have had terrible cases of the flu which included shaking, high temp, diarrhea, runny nose and sore throats. The doctor said it was a viral infection and gave me antibiotics and eventually after about 7 days it went away. Could this have been listeria? And if so what potential harm could it have on my baby (now 33 weeks)
Im 8 weeks pregnant, just ate a magnum ice cream that (in hindsight)i think had de frosted and re frozen, im now paranoid that this might harm the baby? any advice would be great, thanks
Im currently 34 weeks pregnant and ate Singapore noodles Chinese stirfry for lunch today at work. I only realised when I was almost finished that it contained snow pea sprouts in it! I completely freaked out. From what I could see they were quite fresh and the Restaurant we ordered from is a very busy, and clean looking restaurant.. Should I be worried about contracting Listeria? I have been freaking out over it. I also microwaved my food for a minute before I ate it so it was hotter. Not sure if this would make a difference.
Is it ok to eat left over, home made Thai chicken green curry 24 hours after it was cooked? It has coconut milk in it. Thanks in advance for your advice.
I have been so careful about what I eat whilst pregnant, I'm 20 weeks now and still worrying about everything. I had some fried rice that was not piping hot from the takeaway. I think it had been under a warming plate. I didn't want to put it in the microwave cos I heard you shouldn't reheat rice but now I'm worried that eating it lukewarm will cause Listeria and harm my baby. Help. Its my first baby and I want to do the best I can for him or her.
This is probably a really stupid question, but have to ask. Im 18 weeks pregnant an cooked my daughter soft eggs. I didn't eat any, however I totally forgot and drank out of the water bottle she had been drinking from. I've done this a few times accidently after she's eaten foods I shouldn't have. Is this a problem or am I being completely rediculas?
Hi i am 4weeks and have just been told about listeria and what not to eat. I have eaten cold meats feta salads pre-pread by a saldbar place i am now really worried can i get a test to check i i have listeria or what should i do please help i haveno one helping me and this is my first pregnancy
Wondered if someone could give me some advice please. I am 5 weeks pregnant and ate runny fried egg earlier and then boiled runny egg aswell. Was this stupid? I have since had diarrhea and a bit of abdominal pain. Should I be worried?
Hi, I'm 14 weeks pregnant. My co-workers bought me a mocha cream cake for my birthday yesterday. It sat out all day in our stuffy office and was place in the staff fridge over night. Is it ok to eat it? Do you think the cream might have spoiled?
I am 7 and a half months pregnant and have just eaten roast vegetables from a take away shop. They weren't hot and I'm not too sure how long they were sitting there. Could this mean it may be contaminated with Listeria? i just thought because they have been cooked it would be fine.
So I cooked a chicken breast for lunch today. I baked it in oven with potato at 350-375 degrees F for like 45 minutes... But when I was eating it it look like one side still was a bit pink... not totally white as cooked chicken is... in the center it was white/... just upper side was pinkish.... So I freaked out that maybe I just had uncooked chicken??????? I am so freaking out I will get listeria!!!!!!
Hey I'm 32 weeks pregnant and yesterday I ate a large amount of ham of the bone (Christmas ham) and then today I have had a really sore throat and a runny/blocked nose I'm really worried this could be listeria, should I go to the doctor? And do they have accurate tests for listeria available?
I ate some greek pesto salad from superstore today and realized there was dried n pickled fetta cheese in it.It was in their deli section, not packaged.Are there chances of getting listeria infection. Is there any way to find if i am infected. I m 22 weeks pregnant. Very scared if i did any harm to the baby.
I eat lots of olives from salad bar yesterday. 2 hours After eating them I got bad head ache and solder muscle pain. I hope I am okay. Any advise?
Hi Jane, I ate a raw beetroot salad a few days ago. When the beetroot, carrot, apple and corriander were being prepared, none were washed. The beets were peeled and chopped on the same board. My question is, do all root vegtables grow in soil infected with listeria? I ate quite a lot if the salad but dont want to just wait to see if symptoms start. I was going to ask for a blood test...would it show up now if I have been infected? Also, if I waited to see if symptoms started, would there still be time to medicate? I feel very generally unwell anyway at 10 weeks preg so dont know if I would notice symptons ? Seems like a minefield of 'what ifs'.
Just opened some in date yogurt. Ate a few spoon fulls and realised it tasted very fizzy. The foil was a little puffed when I open it. Chance of listeria? Just had brought it home from shop and warm day today, but tasted carbonated. Worried.
Hii'm 12wks pregnant i ate some bad chicken woke up in night with nausea and diarrhea next morning also had muscle aches and headache only lasted 24hrs that was about 2wks ago didn't know about listeria so just thought stomach bug have since been informed about risk what should i do now is there a test i can take
Hi ther how are you? I ate store bought cheesecake and I'm wondering if there's a risk of getting listeria? Thanks for your time.
hi jane! how are you. i just want to ask, i am 6 weeks pregnant and i ate a few chops of grilled pork when i noticed it's a bit pinkish inside, my husband assured me that its cooked. will it have effect on my baby? by the way i did not had any vomiting or diarrhea after few hours of eating it. thank you!
I ate prepared salad from salad bar had cramps and felt nauseatted could It b possible dat i caught listeria
I am 9 weeks today and decided this morning that I wanted to eat our left over KFC :s it has been in our fridge since Thursday night but now I've noticed I'm very gasie and my stomach feels upset but I have no diarrhea or vomiting I'm worried I may have gotten sick I didn't reheat the chicken either
Hi. I just recently at a friends place when she gave me bacon. i ate it without hesitation. At this stage i didnt know i was pregnant. I found out it was cooked thoroughly. I am worried that i could catch listeria. I took a pregnancy test the next day after eating that and it came back positive as i had not had my thing for a month or so... sorry for tmi. What can i do to ensure that i dont have listeria.