To protect yourself and your baby from harmful bacteria such as E. coli, Salmonella and Listeria, “don’t eat raw or undercooked meat, poultry, seafood or eggs, and don’t eat leftover food that has been sitting out for more than two hours,” says Gidus
To stay safe, also avoid these foods during your pregnancy.
Table Of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy And Why
Top 10 Foods To Avoid During Pregnancy And Why
Here are a list of food a pregnant shouldn’t eat and why :
Undercooked or undone meat
A pregnant woman should avoid undercooked meat, especially sausages or minced meat. Be careful to cook them thoroughly so there’s no trace of pink or blood. Although the risk is low, you may also prefer to avoid raw cured meat, such as Parma ham, chorizo, pepperoni and salami. It’s safest to eat well-cooked meat when you’re pregnant.
Why? There is a risk of toxoplasmosis, a tiny parasite that lives in raw meat, soil and cat poo and can harm the baby.
Unpasteurised milk and dairy products
All milk sold in shops, supermarkets and restaurants in the UK is pasteurised and fine to drink. If you are a farmer or use farmers’ markets, however, you might come across unpasteurised milk and products made from it. You should avoid these. This also applies to goat’s milk and sheep’s milk. If you only have access to unpasteurised milk, boil it before using.
Why? There is an increased risk of toxoplasmosis, listeriosis and Campylobacter.
Liver and other foods containing vitamin A
Avoid liver and liver products, such as liver pâté and liver sausage. It’s not safe to take multivitamins containing vitamin A or fish liver oils, such as cod liver oil. Also steer clear of any foods that have vitamin A added (they may say ‘fortified with vitamin A’).
Why? Liver has high levels of vitamin A, and too much of this can harm your baby.
Avoid all types of pâté, including vegetable pâté.
Why? They may contain listeria. These are bacteria that can cause an infection called listeriosis. Listeriosis can harm a baby during pregnancy or cause severe illness in a newborn. Liver pate can also have high levels of vitamin A, which is harmful to the baby.
Avoid: mould-ripened soft cheeses, such as brie, camembert and others with a similar rind, including goats’ cheese
soft blue-veined cheeses, such as Danish blue, gorgonzola and Roquefort.
Why? There’s a risk that these cheeses could contain listeria.
Undercooked ready meals
It’s important to follow the cooking instructions on the pack of any ready meals you eat. Also, check that the meal is piping hot all the way through before you eat it. This is especially important for meals containing poultry, such as chicken or turkey.
Why? There’s a risk that these could contain listeria.
Raw eggs or undercooked eggs
It’s important that any eggs you eat are cooked until the yolks and whites are solid all the way through. Using eggs in cooked recipes is safe but avoid foods that have raw egg in them, such as homemade mayonnaise or mousse.
Why? There’s a risk of salmonella, a common cause of food poisoning that can harm the baby and make you very unwell.
Certain kinds of fish
Fish is good for you and you should aim to eat at least two portions a week, including one portion of oily fish, such as fresh tuna, mackerel or sardines. However, there are some types of fish you should avoid and some you should limit:
Avoid shark, swordfish and marlin as they have high levels of mercury, which could affect your baby’s nervous system.
Limit tuna to no more than two fresh steaks or four medium cans of tinned tuna a week because it also has high levels of mercury.
Limit oily fish (salmon, mackerel, sardines, trout, herring, pilchards) to no more than two portions a week as they contain pollutants.
Avoid eating raw shellfish, such as oysters, as they may give you food poisoning. (Cooked shellfish are fine – these include cold pre-cooked prawns.)
It’s safest to avoid alcohol completely during pregnancy, especially in the first three months. If you do choose to drink after that, keep it to a maximum of one or two units, no more than once or twice a week.
Why? Alcohol can harm you and your baby, and experts cannot be sure that any amount of alcohol is safe.
tea and coffee
You should limit your caffeine intake to no more than 200mg a day during your pregnancy.
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