In Brief: Food safety booklet created for pregnant women

Women in B.C. now have a one-stop resource for information on food safety during pregnancy.

The B.C. Centre for Disease Control and Fraser Health Authority have released an ‘Eat Safely, Eat Well’ booklet online to help pregnant women prevent illnesses such as Listeria, Salmonella, Campylobacter and E.coli through safe food handling and safe food choices.

“We know that Listeria and other bacteria can cause food borne illness and major complications for pregnant women and their babies,” Shendra Brisdon, environmental health officer with Fraser Health, said in a media release.

“This practical resource guide will support them in making informed choices about what they eat and provides recommendations on how to handle and prepare meals safely during their pregnancy.”

To develop the educational materials, the BCCDC, Fraser Health, and University of B.C. researchers consulted with pregnant women and new mothers to assess  their awareness and knowledge of food safety.

“This work highlighted that pregnant women want clear, accurate information about what foods to eat or avoid and safe food handling and preparation,” the Provincial Health Services Authority said in the media release.


South Asian Health Institute launched by Fraser Health

Fraser Health has launched a South Asian Health Institute to better understand the health needs of the South Asian population.

South Asian people have a higher propensity to develop chronic diseases, and are four times more likely to experience coronary disease and diabetes due to a combination of hereditary and environmental factors, the Fraser Health Authority said in a media release on Feb. 15.

SAHI medical lead Dr. Arun Garg said the goal is to shift the focus from fixing health complications to preventing them.

“The cost of late interventions related to chronic diseases is significant for individuals, families and the province’s health care system,” Garg said.

More than 182,000 South Asian people live in the areas served by Fraser Health, the third largest South Asian population in Canada.

Fraser Health said the institute will build on current programs, services and partnerships aimed at improving the health and wellness of the South Asian community.

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