2nd Trimester

Was told to avoid spinach? Really?

I recently heard that I shouldn’t be eating raw spinach (such as in smoothies) when pregnant, because of the listeria risk. Really?!

I was surprised to hear this considering spinach is so healthy and high in folate and iron. I always buy pre washed spinach AND I wash it again/soak it in cold water before consumption. 

Thoughts? Should I really avoid spinach? So many rules!

Re: Was told to avoid spinach? Really?

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    swoffswoff member
    A lot of foods have had at least one listeria scandal. Bagged salads have had a few. But ultimately, we can never anticipate what food is going to have contamination in advance and trying to avoid everything that could carry disease would result in a super limited diet. It's good to take precautions (avoid things that are high risk) and be aware of recall alerts, but I wouldn't take it to the extreme. Your doctor should be able to give you a list of foods to avoid. I would stick to that and call it a day!
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    I wouldn’t avoid it. Washing it again is a good idea. Because I’m assuming listeria outbreaks happen when the food is contaminated after the washing process.
    Cold running water for at least 5 seconds. You can also look into a veggie wash (vinegar based) if you’re concerned. And the rinse & spin dry after. 
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    I read that washing your vegetables should save you from a potential listeria contamination. (At least from veggies) So if you wash then you should be fine.
    As one of the other posters mentioned, you can’t predict what produce will have the next listeria outbreak so you can’t avoid it all and limit your diet!!
    If it helps to know, carrots are statistically most likely to have a listeria contamination. Not specifically spinach.
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    First of all - no you shouldn't.

    "Pregnant women are 10 times more likely than other healthy people to get listeriosis, a relatively common type of foodborne illness."

    That sounds scary right?
    But here are the stats from the same article:

    "listeriosis affects 1,600 people per year in the United States"

    1600 people - in a country of of 350 million ppl (that we know of) it affects (affects, not kills, not horribly maims) 1600 - so not just women either, we're talking - of everyone in the USA.

    Thus your odds of this happening are is 1 in 218,750

    Your odds of being struck by lightning in your lifetime are 1 in 15,300

    I hope that helps ^^

    (Info taken from this article. Really ridiculous when you boil down the numbers:
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    Wash your veggies and keep tabs on recent listeria outbreaks on the cdc website.
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    Yeah many different kinds of produce and foods that are safe for pregnancy have had listeria outbreaks and even in my state I remember romaine lettuce being recalled multiple times in the year but never have been told by my obgyn to avoid it! Just ensure you stay up to date using the resources like the cdc website and wash your produce really well which you should do anyways pregnant or not!! Google ways to soak and wash your food extra safely if you are nervous :)
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    I agree with the other posters; wash it extra well and that should keep you reasonably safe. I use a veggie wash that I make with white vinegar and lemon juice, let it sit for a couple of minutes, then rinse very well as I gently toss. For fruit, I use the same wash and a dedicated brush if it is a fruit with a peel (like an apple). We need veggies to keep our babies healthy too. 
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