Cut this guide out and stick it on your fridge.
- 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.