Foods to avoid during pregnancy

RosemaryM 17By Rosemary Marchese

Editor, B.A. Applied Sci (Physiotherapist)

Pregnancy is a time when you need to stay away from certain foods to minimise the risk of transmitting harmful bacteria and toxins to your unborn baby. You need to talk to your obstetrician about this to make sure you are aware of current recommendations. For now, here’s a list of some of the foods to avoid.


This is a bacterium you need to avoid by staying away from:

  • raw eggs
  • food made with raw eggs (biscuits, eggnog and cake mix)
  • uncooked meat or poultry
  • soft cheeses
  • unpasteurised dairy products.


Listeria is a bacterium in foods that can be killed by thoroughly cooking the food. It can be found in:

  • undercooked meats
  • raw fish (no sushi or sashimi)
  • undercooked vegetables.

Maintaining safe food preparation and hygiene practices can also help to avoid listeria because listeria can also be found in:

  • water
  • soil
  • unpasteurised milk and by-products of milk
  • processed foods.
  • pre-packaged salad items.

Practise healthy eating habits during pregnancy and always maintain diligence with hand washing!


Avoid consuming high levels of mercury by staying away from :

  • shark
  • swordfish
  • king mackerel
  • tilefish
  • sea bass
  • oysters
  • marlin
  • halibut
  • pike
  • walleye
  • white croaker
  • largemouth bass.



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