There are certain foods which should not be eaten during pregnancy and when trying to get pregnant. These include certain fish, deli foods, and undercooked meat.
Follow the 4 Simple Steps of Food Preparation: Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill
There are 3 major foodborne risks to pregnant women:
You can prevent a listeria infection:
- Do NOT eat hot dogs and luncheon meats - unless they're reheated until steaming hot.
- Do NOT eat soft cheese, such as Feta, Brie, Camembert, "blue-veined cheeses," "queso blanco," "queso fresco," and Panela - unless it's labeled as made with pasteurized milk. Check the label.
- Do NOT eat refrigerated pâtés or meat spreads.
- Do NOT eat refrigerated smoked seafood - unless it's in a cooked dish, such as a casserole. (Refrigerated smoked seafood, such as salmon, trout, whitefish, cod, tuna, or mackerel, is most often labeled as "nova-style," "lox," "kippered," "smoked," or "jerky." These types of fish are found in the refrigerator section or sold at deli counters of grocery stores and delicatessens.)
- Do NOT eat homemade salami or sausages that are not cooked well enough
- Do NOT drink raw (unpasteurized) milk or eat foods that contain unpasteurized milk.
- Do NOT eat without first washing your hands after you have gardened or worked with soil.
You can prevent a toxoplamosis infection:
- Preferably wear gloves when gardening or handling sand from a sandbox.
- Do NOT eat undercooked meat, especially no undercooked lamb.
- Do NOT get a new cat while pregnant and let someone else clean the cat litter.
You can decrease exposure to methylmercury:
- Do NOT eat shark, tilefish, king mackerel, and swordfish. These fish can contain high levels of methylmercury.
- It's okay to eat other cooked fish/seafood as long as a variety of other kinds are selected during pregnancy or while a woman is trying to become pregnant.
- She can eat up to 12 ounces (2 average meals) a week of a variety of fish and shellfish that are lower in mercury. Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish.
- Another commonly eaten fish, albacore ("white") tuna has more mercury than canned light tuna. So, when choosing your two meals of fish and shellfish, you may eat up to 6 ounces (one average meal) of albacore tuna per week.