Helping Pregnant Women Avoid Food-Borne Illnesses

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A new project by researchers at Ohio State and Colorado State universities aims to help pregnant women avoid foodborne illnesses.

The educational program, "Healthy Baby, Healthy Me," in English and Spanish, can be downloaded from the Ohio State website and is designed to be taught in a classroom or clinic.

Researchers say certain illnesses can affect fetuses and lead to possible miscarriage, stillbirth or health issues.

Development of the program began in 2006 by Pat Kendall at Colorado State and Lydia Medeiros of the Ohio State University Extension service and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center.

The National Integrated Food Safety Initiative at the federal agriculture department provided $1.5 million in funding.

Medeiros says pregnant women are at greater risk of foodborne illnesses because their bodies are naturally immune-suppressed.