Food to avoid while you're pregnant

Healthy eating during pregnancy is as much about what foods to avoid as what foods to eat. Your energy requirements increase by 12% while you’re pregnant, so try to eat a varied diet every day, including all five food groups.

Food handling and safety are also very important, so always be extra careful – like making sure that you and your family purchase, prepare, cook and store all your food correctly to ensure it’s safe.

Foods to avoid:

  • Processed meats – Ham, salami, luncheon, chicken meat etc.
  • Raw meat – Any raw meat, raw chicken or other poultry, beef, pork, etc.
  • Poultry – Cold chicken or turkey e.g. used in sandwich bars
  • Paté – Refrigerated pate or meat spreads
  • Seafood- Raw seafood and ready-to-eat chilled peeled prawns
  • Sushi- Do not eat store-bought sushi and if home-made do not use raw meat or seafood and eat immediately
  • Cheese- Soft and semi-soft cheese e.g. brie, camembert, ricotta, fetta, blue etc.
  • Ice –cream – Soft serve or fried ice-cream
  • Dairy- Unpasteurised (raw)
  • Eggs- Undercooked or raw eggs, including in food e.g. home-made mayonnaise, chocolate, mousse, aioli etc.
  • Salads – Pre-prepared or pre-packaged salads including fruit salad, e.g. from salad bars, smorgasbords
  • Bean sprouts- Raw alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, onion sprouts, sunflower sprouts, clover sprouts, radish sprouts, snowpea sprouts, mung bean and soybean sprouts
  • Stuffing- Stuffing from chicken or poultry
  • Uncovered or cooled barbecue food
  • Cream of custard in bought cakes or slices
  • Ready meals or reheated foods must be piping hot all the way through before you eat them

Adapted from NSWFA, Foods to eat or avoid when pregnant. For more information visit or

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Posted 4/09/2013
by Christa
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