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What Foods Should I Avoid When I Am Pregnant?

Dairy and seafood can carry risks for pregnant women

Listeria can be present in many types of foods, but is mainly a problem with the following:

  • Unpasteurized milk and other dairy products are made from it.
  • Soft cheeses, such as camembert and brie.
  • Chilled, ready-to-eat foods such as salads, sandwiches, deli meats, cold cuts, and pâté. 
  • Partially cooked eggs.
  • Soft serve ice cream.
  • Any chilled, pre-prepared foods of which you can’t be sure how long they have been refrigerated post-preparation.

It is important to note that these foods do not always contain Listeria. If you have eaten any of these foods at some point during pregnancy and have since experienced no symptoms, you do not need to worry about further implications for you or your baby. 

Other foods to avoid when pregnant

  • Seafood, especially swordfish, marlin, shark due to the risk of high levels of mercury, and raw fish and shellfish. Tuna should be limited to 140g per week.
  • Alcohol, to limit potential risks of fetal alcohol syndrome.
  • High levels of caffeine are not advised – limit daily intake to 200 mg per day.

Read more about Pregnancy and Diet

Please note that all medical articles featured on our website have been reviewed by qualified healthcare doctors. The articles are for general information only and are not medical opinions nor should the contents be used to replace the need for a personal consultation with a qualified medical professional on the reader's medical condition.

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