Foods to Avoid When Pregnant | BabyCenter

Why you should avoid certain foods during pregnancy

Some foods and beverages are outdo avoided during pregnancy because they can be harmful to you and your baby. You ‘ve credibly had food poisoning or foodborne illness at some point in your life, but during pregnancy you ‘re more at gamble – and the consequences can be more serious .
During pregnancy, your immune organization is weaker than common, so you ‘re more probable to get food poison. And having food poisoning while pregnant can cause serious issues for you and your baby, including – in the worst-case scenario – premature birth, spontaneous abortion, and spontaneous abortion .
dangerous bacteria and parasites like Listeria, Toxoplasma, Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter, and E. coli can lurk in improperly prepared, cooked, and stored foods. A few of these can cross your placenta and affect your pamper even if you never feel symptoms of illness yourself .
serious problems due to foodborne illness in pregnancy are rare – listeriosis affects fewer than 400 babies a year in the U.S., and toxoplasmosis affects between 400 and 4,000. You do n’t need to worry excessively a lot, or second-guess every food choice, but it ‘s significant to know which foods are dependable for pregnancy and which are n’t.

Foods to avoid when pregnant

During pregnancy, it ‘s knowing to avoid some foods completely ( we ‘re looking at you, deli egg salad ). But many early foods that are otherwise dangerous for pregnancy are actually fine if you take a few precautions, like cooking them thoroughly. You ‘ll want to steer clean of bleak or undercooked kernel, domestic fowl, eggs, fish, and shellfish, adenine well as unpasteurized dairy products and juice. But go ahead and enjoy fresh-baked cookies and a hot pawl that ‘s been heated to steaming hot. here ‘s more specific guidance on foods to avoid or eat with caution when meaning :



  • Raw or undercooked fish or shellfish (such as oysters and clams)
  • Fish with high levels of mercury, including shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish (golden or white snapper)
  • Refrigerated smoked or pickled fish that’s unpasteurized, unless heated until steaming (165° F)
  • More than 6 ounces (one serving) a week of canned “solid white” or albacore tuna


  • Cook fish to 145° Fahrenheit or until opaque in the center.
  • Eat up to 12 ounces (two servings) a week of low-mercury fish, such as salmon, shrimp, pollock, tilapia, or trout.

Meat and poultry


  • Raw or undercooked meat or poultry
  • Refrigerated meat of any kind (including ham, turkey, roast beef, hot dogs, bologna, prosciutto, and pâté) unless heated until steaming (165° F)
  • Dry, uncooked sausages (such as salami and pepperoni) unless heated until steaming


  • Use a food thermometer. Cook beef, veal, and lamb to 145° F. Cook pork and all ground meats to 160° F. Cook poultry to 165° F.



  • Runny or undercooked eggs
  • Raw cookie dough or cake batter that contains raw eggs
  • Homemade desserts or sauces that contain raw eggs (such as eggnog, ice cream, custard, chocolate mousse, hollandaise sauce, béarnaise sauce, mayonnaise, and Caesar salad dressing)


  • Cook eggs until yolks are firm. Cook other dishes containing eggs to 160° F.
  • Use pasteurized eggs or a pasteurized egg product when making food that calls for uncooked eggs.



  • Unpasteurized or “raw milk” soft cheese. Nearly all cheeses in the United States are pasteurized. Just make sure the label says so, particularly on soft cheese. Don’t eat any uncooked food made from raw, unpasteurized milk.


  • Check the label when buying soft cheese to be sure it says “made with pasteurized milk.”

Other foods


  • Prepared salads from the deli (especially if they contain eggs, chicken, ham, or seafood)
  • Buffet or picnic food that’s been sitting out for longer than two hours (one hour on a hot day)
  • Stuffing cooked inside a bird, unless heated to 165° F
  • Raw sprouts or any unwashed produce, especially lettuce and cabbage


  • Reheat previously cooked leftovers until steaming (165° F).
  • Keep cold buffet food on ice and hot buffet food heated to 140° F, or roughly the temperature of a hot cup of coffee.
  • Peel fruits and vegetables or wash them well. Keep cut fruits and vegetables refrigerated or on ice.

Beverages to avoid when pregnant

The big no-no during pregnancy is alcoholic drinks. You may have hear that it ‘s approve to have an casual drink during pregnancy, but the truth is that there is no acknowledge “ safe ” sum of alcohol when you ‘re pregnant – and that ‘s why many experts say to skip it wholly. It ‘s besides significant to limit your caffeine intake and keep off naked or unpasteurized milk or juice .

  • Be aware of how much caffeine is in tea, soft drinks, energy drinks, chocolate, and coffee ice cream.
  • Wash fruit thoroughly before squeezing it for fresh juice. (Making your own fresh juice at home is safer than buying fresh squeezed juice from a juice bar or grocery store because you can’t be sure how safely fruit has been handled in a retail setting.)

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