Foods to avoid during pregnancy are various and really it's about avoiding certain dangerous substances and infections that can affect your baby and even cause miscarriages on rare occasions.
Although infection with listeria (listeriosis) is rare it is important to take special precautions in pregnancy. Even a mild form of the illness in pregnancy can lead to miscarriage or severe illness in your newborn baby. Avoiding certain foods and drinks will help keep you and your baby healthy and vibrant.
Some foods you want to avoid carry infections such as Salmonella, E coli and other less well known contaminants.
Avoid eating Shark, Swordfish, Marlin, Orange Roughy (deep sea Perch) and Tilefish to minimize the toxicity risk from mercury. These larger fish contain higher levels of mercury which is dangerous for your developing baby.
* Raw Shellfish (things like prawns, lobster and any seafood with a shell) need to be avoided due to the risk of food poisoning due to harmful bacteria and viruses. Well cooked shellfish is safer.
* raw or under-cooked eggs e.g. found in home-made Mayonnaise (shop bought mayonnaise is fine!). The risk with under-cooked eggs is Salmonella food poisoning. Best avoided!
* Unpasturized soft cheeses such as Camembert and Brie and the like. Always check that cheese is pasteurized before buying. These cheeses are mould-ripened. You should also avoid soft blue-veined cheeses such as Danish Blue or Gorgonzola. These are made with mould and they can contain listeria, a type of bacteria that is harmful to your unborn baby.
* Raw or undercooked meat. All meat and poultry needs to be cooked thoroughly so that there are no parts left raw. Take special care with poultry, pork, sausages and minced meat, including burgers. It's fine to eat whole cuts of beef and lamb such as steaks, cutlets and joints, as long as they have been properly cooked.
Wash all chopping boards, kitchen surfaces and knives thoroughly after preparing raw meat. It’s also important to remember to wash and dry your hands after touching or handling raw meat. This will help to avoid the spread of harmful germs such as salmonella and E. Coli that can cause food poisoning.
* Foods to avoid also include all types of pâté including vegetable pâtés as they can possibly contain listeria.
Drinks To Avoid:
Hopefully you are already aware that Alcohol needs to be avoided in Pregnancy. Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (FAS) is a serious condition which affects babies exposed to alcohol during pregnancy. It will taste all the better after the baby is born if you've avoided it for 40 weeks!
Remember it's not all bad news! There are so many delicious foods that you can still enjoy while pregnant. Go to
Healthy Pregnancy Diet page for more information on good nutritious foods and don't focus too much about foods to avoid during pregnancy.