Here’s a handy list to help guide your food choices during pregnancy.
I’ve used the NSW Food Authority Pregnancy food safety guidelines to create this.
FOODS TO AVOID
Meat + Poultry
- Raw meat
- Raw or undercooked eggs
- Paté or meat spreads
- Deli-style cold chicken or turkey
- Chicken or poultry stuffing
- Processed meats – Ham, salami, luncheon meats (don’t eat unless thoroughly cooked to at least 75c/165f and eat soon afterwards).
- Raw seafood like sashimi, oysters, caviar, fish roe
- Ready-to-eat chilled prawns
- Limit your intake of some fish including: Shark (flake), Orange roughy, Swordfish, King mackerel, Tilefish, Bigeye tuna (found in sushi) and Marlin as they have a high Mercury content.
- Soft and semi-soft cheese, eg, brie, camembert, ricotta, fetta, blue
- Soft-serve ice-cream or frozen yoghurt (or fried ice-cream)
- Store bought sushi
- Homemade or cafe made aioli or mayonnaise (contains raw egg)
- Pre-made salads from supermarkets
- Salad ingredients from a buffet (salad bar)
Fruit + Veggies
- Avoid all sprouts: Alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, onion sprouts, sunflower sprouts, clover sprouts, radish sprouts, snowpea sprouts, mung beans and soybean sprouts
- Juice from a fresh juice machine (Pre-packaged juice is safer)
- It is safest not to drink when pregnant. There are now many alcohol-free options available from major liquor stores.
FOODS YOU CAN EAT!
… if you take care to ensure they’re made and stored safely.
Meat, Poultry & Seafood
- Properly cooked fresh meats
- Cooked, fresh fish. Enjoy up to 350g/12oz of fish a week including salmon, tinned tuna, shrimp etc.
- Fresh, cooked seafood
- Hot, freshly cooked take-away chicken
- Freshly, homemade sushi
Dairy & Eggs
- Hard cheeses like parmesan, cheddar, tasty cheese
- Cooked soft cheese like brie, feta, ricotta, camembert (must be cooked)
- Cheese spreads, cottage cheese, cream cheese etc provided they are stored in the fridge, pasteurised and eaten within 48 hours of opening.
- Store-bought aioli or mayonnaise made from pasteurised ingredients
- Packaged frozen ice-cream
- Freshly made custard or store-bought custard that you’ve just opened
- Fully cooked eggs (don’t use eggs that have been cracked or are dirty).
Fresh & Packaged Foods
- Homemade salads using fresh and well-rinsed ingredients
- All fresh fruits, vegetables + herbs (rinse well before eating)
- Tinned food – Store in a sealed container after opening, not in the tin
- Honey – Considered safe in pregnancy. Not recommended for babies (botulism)
- Caffeine (up to 200mg per day)
- That’s equivalent to one single-shot coffee, depending on the blend. Check the caffeine content of ingredients you often have like teas, coffee, drinks.
- Decaf coffee is safe to drink.
GENERAL FOOD SAFETY STEPS TO FOLLOW
- Freshly prepared foods using fresh ingredients is best in pregnancy.
- Meal prepping isn’t recommended in pregnancy.
- Ensure meat is thoroughly cooked before eating – no pink or transparent bits, no runny or red liquid.
- Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge and eat within 24 hours.
- Check use-by dates on all products.
- Ensure dairy products are pasteurised. Most dairy sold in developed countries supermarkets are pasteurised but it’s best to check the back of the pack.
- Be sure to cook frozen vegetables before eating.
- Thoroughly wash all fresh produce before using.
DON’T FORGET THESE FOODS!
These foods contain hidden ingredients that may be best to avoid.
- Tiramisu (raw egg)
- Taramasalata (raw fish roe)
- Chocolate mousse (raw egg)
- Cookie dough or cake batter (uncooked, raw egg)
- Beef tartare (raw meat)
- Ceviche (raw seafood)