During your pregnancy make sure that you know the important facts about which foods you should avoid because they might make you ill by causing food poisoning. The possible presence of bacteria, chemicals or parasites in these foods could harm your unborn baby.
Foods to Avoid:
When you’re pregnant there are some types of fish you should limit, such as tuna and oily fish and some types of fish you should avoid completely, such as shark, swordfish or marlin.
• Tuna contains more mercury than other types of fish and if you take in high levels of mercury when you’re pregnant, this could affect your baby’s developing nervous system. During your pregnancy the amount of tuna you eat should be no more than two tuna steaks a week (about 140g cooked or 170g raw each), or four medium-sized cans of tuna a week (about 140g when drained)
• Oily fish (trout, mackerel, salmon and herring) contain pollutants such as dioxins and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), so when you’re pregnant, you should avoid having more than two portions of oily fish a week.
White fish and cooked shellfish, apart from shark, swordfish and marlin is considered safe to eat in pregnancy or breastfeeding. Also you can eat smoked fish, which includes smoked salmon and smoked trout.
Sushi is not safe when you’re pregnant, because it may contain illness-inducing parasites. This small parasitic worms can be destroyed with freezing and cooking which makes raw fish safe to eat.
The safest way to enjoy sushi is to choose the fully cooked or vegetarian varieties, which can include:
• cooked seafood – for example, fully cooked eel (unagi) or shrimp (ebi)
• vegetables – for example, cucumber (kappa) maki
• avocado – for example, California roll
• fully cooked egg
While you are pregnant do not eat raw or undercooked meat, because of the potential risk of toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite that can be found in raw and undercooked meat, unpasteurised goats’ milk, soil, cat faeces and untreated water. If you are pregnant, the infection can damage your baby, but it’s important to khow that toxoplasmosis in pregnancy is very rare.
During pregnancy you should also avoid cold meats, such as salami, Parma ham, chorizo and pepperoni, which are not cooked, but just cured and fermented, because there is a risk they contain toxoplasmosis-causing parasites. It’s necessary to check the instructions on the pack to see whether the product is ready-to-eat or needs cooking first.
Too much vitamin A can harm your baby. So that why you should not eat liver or liver-containing products such as liver pâté, liver sausage or haggis, as they may contain a lot of vitamin A. It is also important that you should not consume high-dose multivitamin supplements, fish liver oil supplements or any supplements containing vitamin A.
To prevent the risk of salmonella food poisoning which is followed by diarrhoea and vomiting, avoid raw or undercooked eggs and any foods that contain them, such as homemade mayonnaise.
Mould-ripened soft cheeses (brie, camembert and others with a similar rind, including goats’ cheese) and soft blue-veined cheeses (Danish blue, gorgonzola and roquefort) are made with mould and can contain listeria bacteria that cause listeriosis which can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth or severe illness in a newborn baby. Thorough cooking any bacteria in cheese could be killed, so it is safe to eat cooked mould-ripened soft cheese, such as brie, camembert and chevre, and cooked soft blue cheese, such as roquefort or gorgonzola, or dishes that contain them. But first It is very important to make sure the cheese is thoroughly cooked until it’s steaming hot all the way through.
Hard cheeses such as cheddar, parmesan and stilton, even if they’re made with unpasteurised milk are allowed to eat in the pregnancy. This kind of cheeses don’t contain as much water as soft cheeses, so bacteria are less likely to grow in them, but there is still low risk for hard cheese to contain listeria.
Milk and yogurt
Try to avoid raw (unpasteurised) milk, including unpasteurised goats’ or sheep’s milk, or any food that is made of them, such as soft goats’ cheese.If only raw is available, boil it first.
You can consume all types of yogurt, including bio, live and low-fat, are fine. It is very important to be homemade yogurt made with pasteurised milk, but if is not, then try to avoid it.
Ice cream is safe in pregnancy because it is a processed product made with pasteurized milk and eggs, so any risk of salmonella food poisoning has been eliminated.
Caffeine in pregnancy is allowed, but its use should be limited, because high levels of caffeine can cause in babies having a low birth weight, which can increase the risk of health problems in later life. Too much caffeine can also cause miscarriage. Daily dose of caffeine during pregnancy should be less than 200mg a day ( for example you can drink one mug of instant coffee (100mg), one mug of tea (75mg) or one 50g bar of plain (dark) chocolate (less than 25mg).