Pregnancy guide > You > Mums to be > Eating for pregnancy > Foods not to eat when pregnant

Foods not to eat when pregnant

We explain the foods you should avoid when pregnant
You're more susceptible to bugs and bacteria while you're pregnant so it's all the more important to watch what you eat.

So, to help you and baby stay as healthy and fit as possible we explain the foods that you should steer clear of while you're expecting.

Cheese -
It's a good idea to avoid eating blue cheese such as Stilton, Roquefort and Gorgonzola and mould ripened soft cheese such as Brie and Camembert as they are more likely to contain harmful bacteria such as listeria. Unpasteurised cheese made from sheep's and goat's milk should also be avoided.

However, thorough cooking should kill any bacteria so eating a small amount of any of these cheeses in a piping hot meal shouldn't cause you any problems.

Hard cheese such as Cheddar and Red Leicester, soft cheese such as Feta, Mascarpone, Mozzarella, processed cheeses, cream cheese and cottage cheese are all considered safe.

Pate -
Liver pate is a no-go in pregnancy as it contains high levels of retinol based vitamin A which can be harmful to your baby's development. However, other meat, fish and vegetable based pates should also be avoided as they are likely to contain high levels of the bacteria listeria.

Raw eggs -
Because of the risk of salmonella food poisoning it's important that you stay away from foods containing raw or undercooked eggs as you are more susceptible to this illness while you are pregnant.

When you buy eggs at the supermarket choose varieties that have the red lion stamp as this means they have come from hens vaccinated against salmonella and make sure that both the white and yolk of any eggs you eat are solid. You should also store eggs separately from other food, wash your hands thoroughly after cooking with egg and never use eggs that have either gone past their sell-by date or have been cracked.

Remember that home-made or deli-bought mouse, mayonnaise, coleslaw and salad dressing may contain raw egg so it's always a good idea to check before you tuck in. Shop bought varieties tend to contain pasteurised egg so most are fine to eat during pregnancy.

Undercooked meat -
Raw or undercooked meat is more likely to carry bacteria that will cause food poisoning. For this reason it's important that any meat you eat has been cooked thoroughly so that there are no pink bits and the juices run clear. Uncooked meat such as parma ham and salami should also be avoided.

Remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling meat and to store it separately from other foods.

Unwashed fruit and vegetables -
There is a small chance that fruit and vegetables carry the harmful toxoplasmosis parasite on their skin so it's important to either thoroughly wash or peel any fruit and vegetables before you eat them.

Raw shellfish -
As you're more susceptible to tummy bugs during pregnancy it's a good idea to steer clear of raw or undercooked shellfish such as cold prawns, oysters, mussels and crab as these are more likely to carry sickness-causing bacteria. However, it is fine to eat these foods as part of a piping hot meal.

Peanuts -
If you, your partner or children have a history of allergies, asthma or eczema it's recommended that you avoid eating peanuts while you're pregnant as it may increase the risk of your baby developing an allergy.

Alcohol -
The Department of Health currently recommend that you don't drink any alcohol at all while you're pregnant because of the risk that heavy drinking poses for fetal development. However, new research has suggested that occasional drinking (1 or 2 units every couple of weeks) won't do your baby any harm, so if you do feel like sharing a little celebratory tipple on the odd occasion you shouldn't feel guilty about indulging.

Why not share your favourite Christmas recipes with other members on the AskBaby forums.

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i ate everything when i was pregnant really did not bother me but you should not drink alcohol duuuuh! and uhh mayo is not bad its like.... egg man wtf
by Helpimpregas 20th Jun 2013, 3:33pm
I was advised to only have 2 tins off tuna a week & to avoid mayo as it has raw eggs in it....however - hellmans mayo is fine as it is pasturised!!! !!! You cant have mr wippy ice cream either!! as long as pasturised its fine!!
by lilly1985 13th Oct 2010, 12:00pm
can i eat tuna mayonnaise when im pregnant as someone said i can't but its one of my favourite foods which i can't give up lol xx
by XkimyX 16th Sep 2010, 8:58am
There is nothing wrong with eating lots of seafood, as long as it is cooked properly. I have a tin of tuna every week and added cooked prawns to my curry at weekend.x
by Vix10 13th Sep 2010, 12:13pm
is it ok to eat smooth peanut butter?
by paula18 16th Aug 2010, 5:08pm
by YESSI89 12th Aug 2010, 10:32am
you can eat eggs, just not raw x
by rhiogs 12th Aug 2010, 9:18am
Is it a bad thing to eat hot food? I mean can this hurt my baby in any kind of way??
by Talethiababy 18th May 2010, 4:50pm
Iv had a few eggs during this pregnancy and the last one… oops. This website is a godsent. Nic xx
by KNEE 14th May 2010, 5:29pm
cant believe i cant eat brie :( lol x
by peacheymummy 14th May 2010, 5:07pm
how am i going to live without eggss?X
by julialou 3rd Feb 2010, 9:48am
i think it is only right that all pregant women should reduce eaten outside bcos you arent really sure of the preparation of the food instead get maybe your husband or smomone to cook for you if you cant do cook yourself.thaks ladies
by ceewhyte 23rd Nov 2009, 11:09am
im 6 weeks pregnant and i was just wondering how my steak has to be cooked?
by miss17 14th Jul 2009, 6:00pm
i'm wanting all the stuff I can't have but i'm sure crab stcik are fine as it is only crab essence annd flavor and a lot of water so doestn't really contain fish at all, and tuna is ok once a week, but i'm not liknig fish at all in this pregnancy the smell or the taste of cod and haddock, it makes me feel really sick.
by xxDxx 14th Jul 2009, 6:00pm
i am 11 weeks pregnent & LOVINGGG it buh i hate the fact i cant eat sea food like prawns & crab sticks i really want some haha x
by caznwake 13th Jul 2009, 9:14am
is it ok to eat yoghrts when pregnant
by collins 18th Mar 2009, 9:16am
what about sardine?
by amoura 18th Mar 2009, 9:16am
oh i drank a bottle ov wine on fri and sat nites for the last 4 weeks prior to me finding out i was pregnant, im really worried this mite ov harmed my baby's development......
by gail8 11th Mar 2009, 9:19am
I LOVE PRAWNS!!and knowing i cant have them makes me want them even more hehe
by Jemmajuicy 4th Mar 2009, 9:19am
You should avoid fish that is high in mercury. Like swordfish and there are a few others I can't remember off the top of my head.

by CraftyMama 4th Mar 2009, 9:19am
I think eating fish and chips is fine, its only shell fish you should stay clear of :)
as long as its cooked your fine, me too i love fish and chips. good luck ladies XXX
by MichelleCherry 24th Feb 2009, 9:50am
i have eaten fish and chips throughout my pregnancy and i am now 31 weeks. i dont see a problem with it as long as its hyginic there. actually might have some for dinner now mmmm
by zawill 23rd Feb 2009, 2:42pm
I am an African and here we are of the opinion that pregnant women should take lots of liver, fish, eggs(boiled or fried) beans,red meat and palm oil. I read somewhere however that too much vit. A should be avoided. Pls advice.
by Promise 3rd Feb 2009, 9:19am
please can any one help me iam really wanting fish and chips from my local fish n chip shop iam 5weeks pregnant is it safe to have fish n chips?
by tash1990 19th Jan 2009, 9:57am
by Sarugii 13th Jan 2009, 9:18am