Are salmon, smoked salmon, gravlax and trout safe to eat during pregnancy?
Salmon, smoked salmon, tinned salmon and trout - how much of these fish is ok when you are pregnant?
In a nutshell
You should avoid eating cold smoked or cured salmon or trout (or any other smoked or cured fish) but salmon or trout cooked in other ways is fine.
The expert view
Salmon and trout are safe to eat in pregnancy but pregnant women have recently been advised by the Food Standards Agency (advice issued July 2023) to avoid all cold-smoked or cured fish because of the risk of contracting listeria.
This means ready-to-eat smoked salmon and gravlax, including in sushi, are not now considered safe in pregnancy – unless they have been cooked until they're steaming hot.
Salmon and trout, cooked in other ways, are great source of protein, iron, and vitamins - but both the wild and farmed varieties contain traces of pollutants, according to the Food Standards Agency, so it advises no more than two portions a week.
A portion is 140g when cooked, or about the size of a computer mouse.
More like this
"Smoked salmon provides healthy omega 3 fatty acids, just like a grilled or baked salmon fillet," explains nutritionist Dr Rana Conway, author of What to Eat When You’re Pregnant.
Tinned salmon can also be a good choice for sandwiches, jacket potatoes and in pasta - and because you can eat the bones, they are a good source of calcium and phosphorous, says the NHS.
You may also see rock salmon on menus and, confusingly, this fish (also known as dogfish, huss or rigg) is not actually classed as an oily fish, but should also be limited to two portions a week.
Pic: Getty Images
Magda Ibrahim is a freelance writer who has written for publications including The Times and Sunday Times, The Sun, Time Out, and the London Evening Standard, as well for MadeForMums.
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