If I'm not supposed to eat raw food while I'm pregnant, does that include fruits and vegetables?

Our experts answer your pregnancy questions.

If I’m not supposed to eat raw food while I’m pregnant, does that include fruits and vegetables?

You hear in the news about lettuce and cantaloupe being recalled because of E. coli or other bacteria, so you do need to be careful about raw fruits and veggies when you’re pregnant, just like any other raw food. 

I’m not saying don’t eat fruit and vegetables. Just make sure they’re cleaned well.

It doesn’t matter if it’s organic or you bought it at the farmer’s market. Bacteria is found in nature, so any raw food can carry it. The chances of you getting exposed are low, but you don’t want to get food poisoning while you’re pregnant. 

Use a veggie spray, because water is not good enough. 

You can buy a natural, organic spray at most grocery stores. Usually you’ll find it by the produce itself. Make sure to spray the whole surface, and make sure you rub the surface before you rinse it off.  There’s not a particular brand I recommend. Pretty much they all do the same thing.  

If you’re eating an apple or something else with a skin, you can peel it. It’s usually the skin that has the germs on it. But for fruits like raspberries or strawberries, use the veggie spray. Rub the cleanser on there to get into where the seeds are. If you look at a strawberry, the seeds are in the holes. That’s where the bacteria can get in. 

If you prefer not to eat vegetables raw, I would steam them. It doesn’t take away the nutritional value like cooking them. Steaming them is enough. It will kill those germs. 

Melissa Kitzman, certified nurse-midwife
Fairview Clinics – Bloomington, Oxboro
Fairview Center for Women – Edina 

To learn more:

Make an appointment with a midwife or OB doctor or book a tour at The Birthplace.

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