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Posts for tag: Uncooked seafood

By James A. Scales, MD
February 16, 2018
Category: Pregnancy Care

Safe Foods While PregnantOnce you find out you are pregnant there are so many things to think about to keep both you and your baby healthy throughout your pregnancy. One of the most popular questions OBGYNs hear pertains to foods that are safe to eat and which foods should be avoided during pregnancy. This is an important question, as your diet now affects not just your health but also the health of your unborn baby.

While there are a lot of foods that are safe for you to eat and even vital to eat to provide your growing baby with the nutrients and vitamins it needs, there are certain foods that should be avoided at all cost.

Uncooked Seafood and Raw Meats

Rare meats (e.g. beef; pork) or uncooked seafood (e.g. sushi) should not be consumed at all during your pregnancy. Why? There are a variety of different bacteria such as salmonella and toxoplasmosis that could be particularly harmful to a fetus. While meat certainly isn’t a no-no, just make sure it is cooked completely before consuming.

Deli Meats

While the idea of biting into a big Italian sub might sound like heaven, you might just want to put that sandwich down if you are pregnant. Deli meats often contain listeria, which can increase your chances of a miscarriage. This infection has the ability to cross the placenta. If you do want to consume deli meat, make sure to fully cook it before consuming.

Certain Fish

Besides raw shellfish (e.g. oysters; clams) and uncooked seafood, it’s also important to avoid certain fish that contain high levels of mercury because this element could cause brain damage or developmental defects. Fish to avoid include shark, swordfish, king mackerel, marlin, Ahi tuna and orange roughy. Canned tuna should be eaten in moderation since it still contains some mercury.

Raw Eggs

While pregnancy can lead to weird cravings we know you probably aren’t going to crave eating raw eggs; however, raw eggs can be in certain sauces and dressings such as Caesar dressing, mayonnaise, certain ice creams and Hollandaise sauce. Make sure to always read the labels on these products to ensure that raw eggs aren’t one of the ingredients.

Soft Cheese

We know that this is terrible news for cheese lovers, but a lot of imported soft cheeses such as feta, Brie and Camembert often contain listeria. Of course, this doesn’t mean that you have to nix cheese completely. Most non-imported soft cheeses that use pasteurized milk are often safe for pregnant women to consume. If in doubt, doesn’t hesitate to ask your obstetrician first.

Whether you have questions about diet, exercise or other lifestyle factors while pregnant, it’s important that you have a knowledgeable obstetrician on your side who can address all of your questions and concerns when you need it.