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Foods to Avoid in Pregnancy

Throughout your pregnancy, it is important to eat nutritious whole foods and have well-balanced meals. These supply you and the baby essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals. Most foods are safe however there are a few foods which are best avoided during pregnancy.

Due to the high risk of salmonella, coliform bacteria and toxoplasmosis, pregnant women should avoid raw or rare seafood, beef, pork, poultry, shellfish. Cooking can help prevent infections except those related to red tides. Raw shellfish are especially dangerous for pregnant women. Included in this category are oysters, clams, and mussels.

Other foods to be avoided include deli meats, soft cheeses and prepackaged salads due to the risk of listeria contamination. Listeriosis can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or premature labour. Pregnant women should also avoid drinking unpasteurized milk or any dairy product made from unpasteurized milk.

Whilst it is recommended to eat fish each week, some fish have significant levels of mercury and can be harmful to the developing foetus. It is recommended to eat no more than 150 grams of deep sea perch, cat fish, bill fish or flake in the fortnight or you can eat 2-3 serves of other fish such as tuna or salmon in the fortnight instead.

According to the NSW Food Authority, raw eggs, any food containing raw eggs and sprouts should be avoided due to the increased risk of contracting Salmonella. Pregnant women are not at an increased risk of contracting Salmonella though in some rare cases it may trigger miscarriage. When it comes to sprouts these include - alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, onion sprouts, sunflower sprouts, clover sprouts, radish sprouts, snow pea sprouts, mung beans and soybean sprouts, when raw or lightly cooked. With raw egg products, this includes cookie dough, egg nog, cake batter, homemade Caesar salad dressings, homemade mayonnaise, homemade ice creams or custards, homemade Hollandaise sauce.

If you would like to read more on the food recommendations for pregnant women, you can visit this link to stay up to date with any new information.

The above information doesn’t take the place of a medical consultation so please seek further advice if you have further concerns.