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  • Salmonella infection can be caused by harmful germs in raw meat, eggs, and fish. The germs can be killed by cooking them, which will help prevent you and your baby getting sick.
  • Pasteurization is a process that many dairy products like milk, eggs, and cheese are subject to. Pasteurization means that they have been heated to kill germs. Look out for the term “pasteurized” on labels. Look for the word “pasteurized” on product labels.
  • Listeriais can be caused by unpasteurized dairy products. Listeriais can be caused by germs in food and can lead to flu-like symptoms or harm for your baby.
  • Some foods contain chemicals, like caffeine or mercury. These chemicals can be passed to your baby through pregnancy.
  • Contact your doctor if there are any symptoms or concerns about food poisoning.

What food should you avoid during pregnancy?

Some foods are not safe to be eaten during pregnancy. You or your baby may be harmed by certain foods due to the way they are cooked, or because they contain chemicals or germs.

These foods can be eaten during pregnancy, but only in small amounts:

  • Mercury can cause harm to your baby if it is present in small quantities in fish. Mercury is found in the water fish swim in, and in other fish that are mercury-rich. Mercury can be passed to a baby by eating mercury-rich fish. This can lead to brain damage, as well as affecting your baby’s hearing or vision. You should eat between 8 and 12 ounces of fish with low mercury during pregnancy. This includes shrimp, salmon, pollock and canned light tuna. You can also eat 6 ounces of albacore (white tuna) per week. Fish should be cooked to a temperature of 145 degrees. Then check to see if it separates. Shrimp, lobster, and scallops should all be milky white. Cook oysters, mussels, and clams until the shells are open.
  • Caffeine-containing foods and beverages should be limited to 200 mg per day. This is the equivalent of one 12-ounce or 1 1/2-ounce cups of espresso. The amount of caffeine in coffee varies based on the brand, the way it was made, and the size and shape of the cup. Even though they are called coffee cups, not all coffee cups have the same dimensions. If you are buying coffee or tea, check to see how many ounces it holds. Decaffeinated coffee has a smaller amount of caffeine than regular coffee. Caffeine can also be found in energy drinks, teas, chocolate, and over-the-counter medicines. To find out how much caffeine you are getting, read labels on foods, drinks, and medicines.

What foods should you avoid during pregnancy?

These foods should not be eaten during pregnancy. These foods can be very harmful for you and your baby.

Some meats and fish

  • Raw meats, such as pork, chicken, and beef, can be undercooked or cooked. Hotdogs, ham and bologna are all examples. You can either steam hotdogs and deli meats, or you can just omit them entirely.
  • Raw fish, particularly shellfish, is not recommended. Avoid eating raw fish, especially shellfish. Avoid ceviche, raw oysters, and sashimi.
  • High levels of mercury can be found in fish such as swordfish, king mackerel, tilefish and shark. Before you eat any fish caught by you, make sure you consult your local health department.
  • You can store frozen pates, meat spreads and smoked seafood. It is okay to make a casserole out of it.

Certain dairy products

  • You can make your own eggs, or use them in recipes. This includes raw cookie dough and cake batter.
  • Soft-scrambled eggs
  • Certain Caesar salad dressings, eggnog and certain sauces such as hollandaise are made with uncooked eggs. Because it doesn’t contain any uncooked eggs, Caesar salad dressings that are shelf-stable can be eaten.
  • Any juice, milk, or food made with them that is not pasteurized
  • Soft cheeses unpasteurized, such as brie and feta, Camembert and Roquefort.


  • Any kind of raw sprouts, including clover, mung beans and radish,
  • Raw fruits and vegetables that have not been washed should be eaten. Before you eat your fruits or vegetables, wash them thoroughly.
  • Store-made salads like chicken, egg or tuna salads
  • You can find herbal products in pills and teas. Herbal products are made of herbs. These are plants that are used in medicine or cooking. It is not known if herbal products are safe for use during pregnancy. It’s best to avoid using them during pregnancy.
  • Clay, starch, paraffin, or coffee grounds are all non-food items. If you have a craving for something similar to this, tell your provider.
  • Alcohol. It is not safe to consume alcohol while pregnant.

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