Ripened cheeses such as Brie or Camembert and blue vein cheeses such as Stilton – there’s a risk of listeriosis, a nasty infection that can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or make a newborn baby very ill. However, it’s very rare in the UK. Cheese spreads, cream cheese, feta, mozzarella and ricotta are all fine.
Raw or undercooked eggs, which could be found in home-made mayonnaise, dips, or desserts such as chocolate mousse, meringues, tiramisu or ice cream – there’s a risk of salmonella poisoning, which could make a mum-to-be very ill, although it wouldn’t directly affect your baby. Shop-bought versions of these desserts are fine, though.
Liver or anything containing liver – it contains high levels of vitamin A, which could harm your baby.
Undercooked meat and fish – risk of toxoplasmosis or listeriosis, which could lead to stillbirth or severe health problems in your baby.
Undercooked ready meals – there’s a risk of listeriosis. Always make sure your food is piping hot.
Unwashed fruit and veg – there’s a risk of toxoplasmosis or listeriosis. Rewash bagged salads.
Peanuts, if you or your partner have a nut allergy, hayfever, eczema or asthma.
Shark, Swordfish or marlin – they contain mercury, which could harm your baby’s nervous system.
Pate (even veggie pâté) – there’s a risk of listeriosis.
Shellfish, unless it’s piping hot – otherwise it might harbour bugs that could cause food poisoning.
Finally… Protect yourself by paying attention to ‘best before’ dates; keeping cooked and raw foods covered and apart during storage; and cooking your food so it’s piping hot.