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Pregnant and pancakes

  1. During pregnancy it is advised to be careful when eating certain products. Especially food that is kept in the refrigerator for a longer period of time can be dangerous, because it can be contaminated with the dangerous Listeria bacteria. An infection with this bacteria during pregnancy can cause a miscarriage. Ready-to-eat pancakes that come from the refrigerator of the supermarket can also be contaminated with the Listeria bacteria. Pancake batter prepared with raw eggs can also contain bacteria. Although this may not be a hazard, pregnant women should be careful when preparing pancakes.


  1. There are many different variations of the pancake. In America, for example, they have the light sweet pancakes, in France the thin crêpes, in Russia the blinis made from buckwheat flour and in Germany the fine pfannkuchen. In all variants the main ingredients are flour or buckwheat flour, egg and milk or buttermilk. Usually salt is added and some recipes also contain sugar or raising agents. You can easily bake pancakes at home by mixing the ingredients and baking this batter in a frying pan. But there are also ready-made prepackaged pancakes for sale that only need to be reheated.


  1. Pancakes can be part of a healthy meal. Especially pancakes made from wholemeal or buckwheat flour form a healthy basis. But of course the topping that goes on it also determines whether or not a pancake is healthy. A pancake with vegetables or fruit is of course healthier than a pancake with sugar. Pancakes also contain a number of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, vitamin B12 and vitamin D. These are important nutrients for pregnant women, because calcium is essential for building the baby's bones and vitamin D ensures proper calcium absorption.


  1. Bacteria can grow in both pancake batter and ready-to-eat pancakes. Pancake batter can harbor a large number of bacteria if left unused on the counter for too long. This sometimes happens in pancake houses where large quantities of batter are made to make pancakes for the guests during the day. But the bacteria in the batter can also come from the ingredients. Eggs, for example, can be contaminated with Salmonella and milk can have a high bacterial count if it is no longer fresh. Raw milk in particular can contain a lot of bacteria. If you bake pancakes yourself from pancake batter, this batter is generally brought to such high temperatures in the pan that the bacteria will not survive. This makes homemade pancakes safe. The same applies to ready-made pancakes that you can buy sealed in the supermarket. These pancakes only need to be heated up. Often the temperature does not get high enough and harmful bacteria can survive.


  1. Listeria is a dangerous bacterium for pregnant women because it can infect the unborn child via the placenta. Infection will usually be mild in healthy adults, but can be fatal to an unborn baby. That is why it is very important to prevent Listeria infection during pregnancy.

Growth at refrigerator temperature

  1. A unique property of Listeria compared to other pathogenic bacteria is that the bacteria can grow at refrigerator temperatures. As a result, the bacteria mainly occurs on products that are kept in the refrigerator for some time.

Risk products

  1. The most risky products are raw products that can be kept refrigerated for some time, such as vacuum-packed smoked salmon, soft cheese from raw milk and vacuum or gas-packed raw meat products such as filet americain. Heated products are less risky. This is because the bacteria will die quickly when heated to more than 70 degrees Celsius.


  1. However, heated pre-packed products can also pose a hazard because they can be post-contaminated. Because Listeria can form a biofilm on equipment, the equipment can contain high numbers of Listeria in case of insufficient cleaning. If the heated products then come into contact with these contaminated surfaces, this is called post-contamination.

Pancakes during pregnancy

  1. Ready-to-eat prepackaged pancakes can also be contaminated with Listeria. Listeria contamination has often occurred on ready-to-eat pancakes in the past. Therefore, it is recommended not to eat ready-made pancakes during pregnancy. Incidentally, if the pancakes are thoroughly heated in advance, the bacteria will be killed, but heating only as indicated on the packaging instructions is in most cases not sufficient. Homemade pancakes can of course be eaten safely during pregnancy.

Bake pancakes yourself

  1. Baking pancakes yourself is preferred during pregnancy. It is not only safer, but often healthier as well. You can then choose to use wholemeal flour instead of white flour. You can also omit the salt if you suffer from high blood pressure, for example. Below is a pancake recipe with which you can bake about twelve pancakes. This is enough for four to six people.


  1. 500 ml semi-skimmed pasteurized milk 200 grams of whole wheat flour 2 eggs possibly a pinch of salt butter or oil for frying toppings of your choice

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