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What foods to avoid when pregnant

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What foods to avoid when pregnant


January 2020


Cheeses

Avoid soft white cheeses such as brie and camembert, and soft blue cheeses such as gorgonzola. These cheeses are only safe to eat in pregnancy if they have been cooked. It is advisable to avoid certain soft cheeses as they are less acidic than hard cheeses and contain more moisture, which means they can be an ideal environment for harmful bacteria to grow in.

Eggs

Lion Code eggs (stamped on their shell with a red lion) are safe to eat raw. If the eggs are not Lion Code, or if you are unsure, make sure the eggs are thoroughly cooked until the whites and yolks are solid. This will prevent the risk of salmonella.

Meat

Avoid eating raw or undercooked meat, including rare steaks. Ensure all meat is thoroughly cooked and there is no trace of pink or blood, especially with poultry, pork, sausages and minced meat. This is because of a potential risk of an infection called toxoplasmosis. 

You should take care with cold cured meats such as salami, chorizo and pepperoni, as there is a risk they contain toxoplasmosis causing parasites. You can reduce the risk of parasites by freezing these types of meats for a few days before you eat them.

Pre-packed meats, for example corned beef, are safe to eat while pregnant. On the other hand, you should avoid liver and products containing liver, as these may contain too much Vitamin A which can be harmful for your baby.

Fish

You should limit the amount of tuna you eat during pregnancy, as tuna contains more mercury than other types of fish. This amount of mercury isn't harmful for most people, however it could affect the developing nervous system of your baby.

Caffeine

High levels of caffeine can result in babies having a low birth weight, which could potentially increase the risk of health problems in later life. Its recommended to have no more than around 200mg of caffeine per day.