Preventing toxoplasmosis 

There are a number of measures you can take to help reduce your risk of developing a toxoplasmosis infection.

These measures are particularly important if you're pregnant or have a weakened immune system:

  • wear gloves when gardening, particularly when handling soil – wash your hands thoroughly afterwards with soap and hot water
  • avoid eating raw or undercooked meat, particularly lamb and pork, including any ready meals – read more about how to prepare and cook food safely
  • wash your hands before and after handling food
  • wash all kitchenware thoroughly after preparing raw meat
  • always wash fruit and vegetables before eating them, including pre-prepared salads
  • avoid drinking unpasteurised goats' milk or eating products made from it
  • avoid cat poo in cat litter or soil – wear gloves when changing a cat's litter tray and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards; if you're pregnant or have a weak immune system, ask someone else to change it for you, ideally once a day
  • give your cat dried or canned cat food rather than raw meat to ensure they don't eat any infected meat
  • cover your child's sandpit if you have one to stop cats using it as a litter box

If you're pregnant, you should also avoid coming into contact with sheep and newborn lambs during the lambing season as there's a small risk an infected sheep or lamb could pass the infection on at this time.

Read more about why it's important for pregnant women to avoid sheep during the lambing season.

Page last reviewed: 24/06/2015

Next review due: 24/06/2017