Which foods should I avoid during my pregnancy?

Which foods should I avoid during my pregnancy?

Some foods are best avoided during pregnancy because of what they contain or the way that they're prepared. Working out what you are allowed and what you should steer clear of can be confusing but the information and advice below will help you to choose your next snack wisely!

Which foods should I avoid during my pregnancy?

Things that are undercooked

  • Undercooked or raw eggs, or foods likely to be made with them.
  • Watch out, Ice-cream and mayonnaise are sometimes made with raw eggs! Eggs should be cooked until hard.
  • Undercooked or very rare meat and fish – there should be no pink bits left. If you’re at a barbeque, check the colour at the centre of your food before eating it.

Things that aren’t cooked at all

Raw fish like sushi, sashimi or shellfish, like oysters; meat in dishes like kibbeh, and smoked salmon.

Ready meals

Check that any ready meals or reheated foods are very hot all the way through before you eat them.

Foods that may contain high levels of harmful ingredients

  • Swordfish, marlin and shark. These fish may contain potentially unsafe levels of naturally-occurring mercury which can harm your child’s developing nervous system. Tuna also contains mercury. Limit the amount you eat to up to four medium-size cans (140g drained weight, per can) OR two fresh steaks (up to 170g raw weight, per steak) a week.
  • Pâté or liver can have excessive amounts of vitamin A which can harm your child.
  • Some prepared foods such as potato salad or coleslaw can sometimes contain high levels of listeria.

Guidance from your Health Care Professional

If you are unsure or worried, always speak to your health care professional. They will be able to guide you.

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