Food Safety Precautions and Guidelines in Pregnancy

Our easy guide for which foods are safe and which foods you should avoid while hapū. Your immunity levels are lower in pregnancy so it’s important to adhere to these guidelines to ensure you don’t contract an infection which could make you unwell or even harm your baby.

Bread, Cereals, and Grains

 

Safe to Eat
  • All types of bread.
  • Plain baked goods (cakes, slices, muffins).
  • For filled pasta, refer to advice specific to the filling ingredient/s.

 

Not Safe to Eat
  • Baked goods filled with custard or cream (unless custard is fresh and homemade, and cream is freshly opened from the fridge).

Dairy Products

 

Safe to Eat
  • Butter. Store in the fridge.
  • Pasturised milk. Store in the fridge, consume before manufacturer’s best-before date.
  • Pasturised yoghurt. Follow manufacturer’s instructions on packaging.
  • Fresh cream (whipped, unwhipped, sour cream, crème fraîche, mascarpone and similar). Buy in sealed packaging, store in the fridge and consume within two days of opening.
  • Ice cream.
  • Store-bought custard. Keep refrigerated in original packaging and consume within two days of opening.
  • Homemade custard. Eat hot, immediately after cooking. See advice on leftovers.
  • Hard cheeses (edam, tasty, colby, parmesan, cheddar). Must be stored in the fridge.
  • Processed cheeses (cottage cheese, cream cheese). Buy in sealed packaging and eat cold within two days of opening. Can also be eaten cooked, provided it is consumed before the best-before date.

 

Not Safe to Eat
  • Unpasteurised milk and dairy products.
  • Soft-serve ice cream.
  • Low acid soft pasteurised cheeses (brie, camembert, blue, mozzarella, ricotta), unless heated until piping hot.

Eggs

 

Safe to Eat
  • Well-cooked eggs (poached, scrambled, fried, hard-boiled). Ensure the yolk is firm.

 

Not Safe to Eat
  • Soft-boiled or raw eggs, or foods containing raw eggs like homemade mayonnaise, hollandaise sauce, homemade ice cream, soft-serve ice cream, unbaked cheesecake, mousse, tiramisu, etc.

Meat and Poultry

 

Safe to Eat
  • Well-cooked meats (beef, lamb, pork, chicken, sausages). Make sure juices run clear and it is served piping hot (over 70°C).
  • No more than 100g of liver once a week provided it is well cooked, served hot, and consumed immediately.

 

Not Safe to Eat
  • Any raw, rare or undercooked meat. While preparing raw meat, do not touch your face, mouth or eyes, and thoroughly wash and dry your hands afterwards.
  • Processed meats (salami, ham, luncheon, pâté, pastrami, pancetta, biltong or jerky and similar), unless heated until piping hot (over 70°C).
  • Cold chicken, cold beef, cold turkey, or other cold meats, unless heated until piping hot (over 70°C).

Seafood

 

Safe to Eat
  • Freshly cooked fish, mussels, oysters, crayfish, scallops, and similar. Must be eaten hot, immediately after cooking.
  • Note: Bluff and Pacific oysters and queen scallops contain more cadmium than other foods so it is recommended that you only eat these shellfish once a month during pregnancy.

 

Not Safe to Eat
  • Raw fish or raw shellfish.
  • Smoked fish, shellfish and crustacea, unless heated until piping hot (over 70°C).

Vegetables, Fruit and Salads

 

Safe to Eat
  • All fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs (homegrown and store-bought). Wash and dry well before consuming. Note: Thoroughly wash and dry whole melons before cutting. Cook frozen berries before consuming.
  • Wash homemade salad ingredients before consuming.
  • Frozen vegetables should be cooked.
  • Dried herbs should be cooked thoroughly.

 

Not Safe to Eat
  • Pre-package or ready-made salads (coleslaws, vegetable-based, pasta salads, rice salads, fruit salads or similar) from delis, cafes, buffets or salad bars, etc.

Other

 

Safe to Eat
  • Leftovers should be stored covered in the fridge and be consumed within two days. Thoroughly reheat until piping hot (over 70°C).
  • Canned foods. Remove from the can and store covered in the fridge. Consume within two days of opening.
  • Store-bought mayonnaise, salad dressings, sauces, and spreads. Store in the fridge and follow manufacturer’s instructions on packaging for storage time.
  • Homemade sushi, provided it is made with freshly cooked rice and does not contain raw or cold meats or seafood, or unwashed vegetables. Eat immediately, do not eat leftovers.
  • No more than one serve per week of brown seaweed.
  • Red or green seaweed is okay (see advice on sushi).
  • Pasturised fruit juice and cider (non-alcoholic).

 

Not Safe to Eat
  • Cold leftovers.
  • Store-bought or homemade hummus or tahini.
  • Store-bought sushi.
  • Stuffing from chicken or turkey, unless cooked in a dish only and if piping hot (over 70°C). See advice on leftovers.
  • Seed sprouts (alfalfa, mung bean, lentil, chickpea, broccoli, radish, pea, snow pea, adzuki), unless cooked.
  • Do not drink any alcohol when pregnant.
  • Unpasturised (raw) fruit juice and cider (non-alcoholic).

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