Confused about what you can and can't eat while pregnant? Here are some handy tips...
If you're eating out it makes sense to be aware of what's safe and what's probably best avoided when choosing from the menu.
No food is 'banned' when you're pregnant and guidelines exist only so you can make informed choices. The thing to remember is that well-sourced and well-prepared food probably does not actually contain the 'nasty' you're trying to avoid.
For example certain soft cheeses may not contain listeria at all, but guidelines recommend you avoid certain cheeses in case listeria is present. Here's a run down of what you can and probably can't eat from the menu.
These cheeses can contain listeria. Listeria is an organism which can cause a mild to severe flu-like illness in adults.
However when you're pregnant a listeria infection could lead to your baby being premature or even to a miscarriage.
But don't worry too much as any restaurant or cafe serving food containing these cheeses will usually want to show off about it so they'll most likely be listed so you can avoid them!
Also if the dish is cooked until it's 'piping hot' (for example a lasagne with Taleggio cheese) it's OK to eat as listeria is killed by cooking at high temperatures.
All eggs have the potential to be infected with salmonella. Salmonella infection causes symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration and a high temperature and some people need to receive hospital treatment.
Although there’s no direct harm to your baby, you will feel very unwell. Cooking eggs until they're not runny kills off any potential salmonella bacteria.
Contrary to popular belief you do not need to avoid sushi and other dishes made with raw fish as long as the fish used to make it has been frozen first.
This is because fish can contain small worms called parasites, which could make you ill and which may deprive you and your baby of nutrients.
Freezing kills the worms and makes raw fish safe to eat. Sushi sold in UK restaurants, whether it's ready-made or made on site, is OK because the raw fish used must (by law) have been frozen at minus 20°C for at least 24 hours.
Some raw fish such as salmon does not need to be frozen first if it has been smoked, salted or pickled. This is because these processes also kill any worms in the fish.
The following foods, despite what your well-meaning Aunty Betty might say are perfectly safe to eat.
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