Pregnancy is a time where a person needs to be incredibly vigilant of their health and also the health of their baby. A food borne illness in pregnant women could have terrible consequences for both the mother and baby.
The immune system of a pregnant mother undergoes major changes during pregnancy. This ultimately means that at this exciting stage of their life, a pregnant woman is classed as a ‘vulnerable person’. It is vulnerable people who are, unfortunately, more susceptible to food borne illnesses.
E-coli, salmonella and campylobacter can in some cases cause illness to the unborn baby including diarrhoea, fever and – rarely – meningitis. Salmonella and campylobacter can in severe cases lead to stillbirth.
However, listeriosis is particularly dangerous for pregnant women. A pregnant woman is twenty times more likely to become infected than other healthy adults, with around one third of listeriosis cases happening during pregnancy. Even a mild form of listeriosis in pregnant women can have devastating effects to both them and the unborn baby including premature delivery, miscarriage and stillbirth.
Pregnant women are typically the best educated of all vulnerable groups when it comes to food borne illness. There is all kinds of advice as to what foods you can and can’t eat while pregnant and women will take all necessary steps to avoid food borne illnesses.
As a health care provider, it is your responsibility to ensure that an outbreak does not occur within your organisation. Recent research has discovered that outbreaks of listeriosis within a hospital environment are almost always associated with the consumption of pre-packed food, especially sandwiches. You may have sufficient food safety controls within your hospital’s catering department; however do you actually monitor all the food pathways within your hospital, including retail outlets and food which is brought in by friends or relatives? Interdisciplinary vigilance is needed to ensure that the bacteria which cause food-borne illnesses are controlled effectively and efficiently.
STS is the leading food safety specialists in healthcare. With over twenty years’ experience working with the NHS and their supply chain as well as private hospitals; you can be assured we are the experts when it comes to protecting your patients from food-borne illness.
For more information on how you can safeguard from a food borne illness in pregnant women, speak to a member of our team today on 01252 728 300.