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Pregnant and milkshakes

  1. A milkshake is a nice and refreshing drink that seems very harmless. But since a milkshake can be prone to bacteria growth, it can be dangerous to drink during pregnancy. Especially old milkshake machines or machines that are rarely used are a risk. But there are ways to drink a tasty milkshake during pregnancy without risking. Making a milkshake yourself is tasty and safe.


  1. A milkshake is a popular cold drink that you can buy in, for example, a snack bar or an ice cream parlor. The main ingredients are milk, ice cream or soft ice cream and fruits or syrup. These ingredients are mixed together to form a thick, creamy, cold drink.


  1. In many snack bars, milkshakes are made with a soft ice cream machine. The machine mixes the soft ice cream with a syrup into a liquid cold drink. The soft ice cream is made from a soft ice cream mix. The mix can consist of a dry powder mixed with water before use, or a ready-to-use liquid mix. This liquid mix is ​​kept refrigerated in the storage tank in the machine. If a milkshake has to be made, the liquid or diluted mix flows into a small freezer room and ice is created. The ice cream is mixed with a syrup of the desired flavor and can then run out of the machine in the form of a milkshake.

Bacteria in milkshakes

  1. The soft ice cream mix that is used to make milkshakes is very sensitive to bacterial growth. The mix contains moisture, protein, sugar and fat which form a good combination for an ideal nutritional source. The soft ice cream mix is ​​stored at zero to five degrees Celsius. Most bacteria are inhibited in their growth at these temperatures, but the Listeria bacteria, so dangerous for pregnant women, can grow at this temperature.

Listeria Monocytogenes

  1. Listeria is one of the few pathogenic bacteria that can grow into dangerous amounts at low temperatures. An additional troublesome property of Listeria is that it can form a biofilm on stainless steel. Milkshake machines often consist of stainless steel, which means that a single use of an ice cream mix contaminated with Listeria can lead to an infection of the milkshake machine that is difficult to clean. As a result, the milkshakes of a new uncontaminated soft-serve ice cream mix can also become infected with Listeria. Listeria is especially a risk in milkshake machines that are older or underused. This is because new equipment makes more use of dry powder mixes in which Listeria cannot grow. Also, the cleaning of new equipment is often better because they are self-cleaning using high temperatures that kill Listeria.

Milkshakes during pregnancy

  1. Healthy people will often not get sick from Listeria as long as the bacteria is not present in too large quantities in the food. People with weaker immune systems, such as pregnant women, are more susceptible to foodborne infections and are more likely to get sick from contaminated food. And especially during pregnancy, an infection with Listeria is extra risky, because the bacteria can infect the unborn child via the placenta. Listeriosis during pregnancy can therefore also lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.

Make your own milkshake

  1. Drinking a milkshake from a snack bar can pose risks during pregnancy. Although the risks with milkshakes bought from large companies with new machines and a large purchase are limited, it is also possible to prepare a milkshake yourself in a safe way. You then have control over hygiene. The basis for a milkshake is milk and ice cream. Because prepackaged ice cream is stored at temperatures below zero, Listeria cannot grow in it and is therefore safe.


  1. A recipe for a delicious homemade milkshake is:

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