Preventing toxoplasmosis 

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

For example, you should:

  • 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, pork and venison, including any ready-prepared chilled meals – read more about how to prepare and cook food safely
  • wash all kitchenware thoroughly after preparing raw meat
  • always wash fruit and vegetables before cooking and eating them, unless they are labelled as 'ready to eat'
  • avoid drinking unpasteurised goats' milk or eating products made from it
  • avoid handling or adopting stray cats
  • avoid cat faeces 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 immune deficient, ask someone else to change it for you
  • give your cat dried or canned cat food rather than raw meat

It's very important that pregnant women and those with a weakened immune system follow this advice to avoid becoming infected.

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 that 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: 09/09/2013

Next review due: 09/09/2015