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Reproductive & Child Health News

Link Found Between Food and Miscarriage

BETHESDA, MD--Pregnant women should avoid soft cheeses and certain meats to avoid possible miscarriage or birth defects, a consumer group warns. While the dangers of pregnant women eating contaminated foods have been known for years, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) says the message hasn't reached enough women. The group, along with five other organizations, is appealing to the U.S. Department of Agriculture to require meat processors to conduct more tests for the bacterium Listeria, which can contaminate food processed or packaged in unsanitary conditions. The CSPI's other concern is over Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that may be found on undercooked meat and poultry or unwashed fruits and vegetables. Perhaps the most widely know risk of T. gondii is when pregnant women come into contact with the parasite while changing a cat's litter box. The CSPI list of foods that pregnant women should avoid includes Brie and feta cheeses, rare meat and poultry, raw shellfish, and unpasterized juices.

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