Travelling when pregnant – what’s safe to eat on holidays?

Here's what's safe to eat and drink on summer holidays during pregnancy, plus advice on how to avoid the unsafe menu options.


If you’re a mum-to-be and planning a summer holiday, there’s important food safety advice you need to know before you travel. The British Nutrition Foundation’s Joanne Lunn has these tips on what’s safe and what summer foods you need to avoid…


Water – tap or bottled?

If you have doubts about water quality abroad, drink bottled water and avoid ice in drinks unless you know it’s made from treated or chlorinated water.

Soft cheeses and pâté

Off to France? Avoid soft French cheeses such as Camembert, Brie or chèvre (goat’s cheese) and pâté (meat or vegetable), as these may contain harmful listeria.

Salad dressings and ice cream

Ask restaurant staff if salad dressings or ice cream are home-made and contain raw eggs (which may carry salmonella). Generally, those bought in shops contain pasteurised egg that’s safe.


Shellfish is fine if properly cooked so go for paella but not sushi. Avoid swordfish, shark or marlin due to their high mercury content.


Limit caffeine intake to 200mg a day (filtered coffee contains 140mg per cup).


If you can’t avoid alcohol completely, drink no more than one or two units a week. That’s one large glass of wine in total.


Street vendors

Avoid food and drink from stalls (it often contains unwashed fruit and vegetables or semi-cooked products) and ice cream from vendors as it may contain tap water or raw eggs.

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