10 Foods to Avoid during Pregnancy

Written By: Gloria Tsang, RD

Title: Founding Registered Dietitian

Alumni: University of British Columbia

Last Updated on:

A healthy, well-balanced diet is important during pregnancy. Most fresh foods are wholesome and safe to eat, however some foods should be avoided during pregnancy.

10 Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

  • Raw Meats and Seafood including sushi – all uncooked and rare meats and seafood should be avoided due to high risk of listeria and salmonella poisoning.
  • Deli meats including hot dogs – these deli meats might be contaminated with listeria bacteria which may result in miscarriage or even a stillbirth. It’s safe to eat deli meats if you reheat them until steaming hot.
  • Refrigerated smoked seafood – for the same reason of listeria contamination. It is safe if they are contained in cooked dishes. Canned and shelf-stable versions are safe to eat.
  • Raw eggs – raw eggs may contain salmonella. Some Caesar salad dressings, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream and custards as well as Hollandaise sauces may be made with raw eggs. It is best to check with your server in a restaurant; if in doubt, it is best to avoid it. In addition, unpasteurized eggnog should be avoided.
  • Fish high in mercury – avoid high-mercury fish such as Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel and Tilefish. Also limit fish intake to no more than 2 servings per week. For more info – read Is it Safe to eat Fish during Pregnancy?
  • Soft cheese – avoid the following soft cheeses: Feta, Brie, and Camembert cheeses, blue-veined cheeses, queso blanco, queso fresco and Panela. They are safe to eat if they are labelled pasteurized.
  • Refrigerated pâtes or meat spreads – for the same reason of listeria contamination. It is safe to eat the canned or shelf-stable versions.
  • Liver – liver is a rich source of iron. However it contains a high level of Vitamin A. Large amounts of Vitamin A can be harmful to the baby.
  • Unpasteurized milk and juices. In other words, raw milk and untreated juices.
  • Alcohol – many documented fetal abnormalities and birth defects have been associated with alcohol use during pregnancy.

Enjoy a healthy pregnancy!




What type of ground sugar do you use in cooking most often?

Green Tea: Health Benefits and How-To

No More Frozen Bagel Bites

Leave a Comment