Preventing Toxoplasmosis

You can prevent toxoplasmosis by:

Additional important information if you are pregnant or have a weakened immune system

Minimizing Your Risk

Wash your hands

  • Wash hands after using the bathroom and changing diapers, and before handling or eating any food.

  • Always wash hands after contact with farm animals, pets, animal feces, and animal environments.

  • Hand Hygiene
    Wash Your Hands!

Keep your food preparation areas clean

  • Keep raw meat separate from produce and other foods when shopping for and storing groceries.

  • Wash hands, cutting boards, countertops, cutlery, and utensils after handling uncooked meat.

  • Wash raw fruits and vegetables before eating.

  • Cross-Contamination
    Food and kitchen tools and surfaces may become contaminated from raw food products.

Cook and store your food at the appropriate temperatures

  • Freeze meat for several days before cooking to inactivate the parasite and reduce the likelihood of infection.

  • Thoroughly cook raw meat and poultry. Cook all meat to an internal temperature of 160° F and until it is no longer pink in the center or until the juices become clear.
    • Do not taste meat before it is fully cooked.

  • Storage and Cooking Temperatures
    Learn more about storage and cooking temperatures

  • Defrost food in the refrigerator, in cold water, or in the microwave. Food should be stored in a refrigerator that is 40°F or cooler or a freezer that is 0°F or cooler.

Be careful when dealing with animals

  • Always wash hands after contact with farm animals, pets, animal feces, and animal environments.

Use caution when gardening

  • Wear gloves when you garden or do anything outdoors that involves handling soil.

  • Wash your hands well with soap and water after outdoor activities, especially before you eat or prepare any food.

Additional Information If You are Pregnant or Have a Weakened Immune System

  • Avoid changing the cat litter box yourself; let someone else do it.

  • If you have to change it, wear disposable gloves and wash your hands with soap and water afterwards.

  • Change the litter box daily because the parasite is not infectious until 1-5 days after it is shed in the feces.

  • Help prevent your cat from becoming infected by keeping it indoors and feeding it only canned or dry cat food.

  • Do not feed your cat raw meat.
    Avoid stray cats and kittens and cover your outdoor sandboxes.

  • Do not get a new cat while you are pregnant.

Do you suspect that you have a foodborne illness? Visit reporting suspected foodborne illnesses.

 

Updated Tuesday, July 01, 2014 at 10:57AM