What foods and drinks should I avoid in pregnancy?

Have a look at the list of foods and drinks below – consider the ones that you think you should avoid while you’re pregnant.

Clue: there’s 7 to avoid.

Soft mould-ripened cheeses           Tinned fruit             Pâté          Mozzarella

Liver                        Bread               Raw or runny eggs                     Peanuts

Hard boiled eggs               Tofu                       Alcohol                      Baked beans

Fresh fruit and vegetables            Unpasteurised milk                  Pasta

Nuts                 Rice                      Roast chicken                          Cooked shellfish

Raw or undercooked meat           Cheddar cheese               Cous-cous   

Write down your ideas below before checking the answers!      

Soft mould-ripened cheese

Soft mould-ripened cheese such as brie, camembert, soft goat’s cheese and blue-veined cheeses can have an increased risk of listeriosis. However, NHS guidance suggests they are safe to eat if they have been cooked until steaming hot.

Raw or undercooked or cured meat

There is an increased risk of salmonella and toxoplasmosis (a bacteria that can cause miscarriage) from eating raw or undercooked meat. It is important to cook meat thoroughly before eating so there is no trace of pink meat or blood just in case.

Pâté

All types of pâté have an increased risk of listeriosis and usually contain high levels of vitamin A, which can increase the risk of miscarriage or fetal abnormalities. This includes vegetarian pâté.

Liver and liver products

Liver contains high levels of Vitamin A and is linked to increased risk of miscarriage and fetal abnormalities.

Raw or runny eggs

British Lion eggs (eggs with a lion stamp on them) are the only eggs safe to eat raw and partially cooked. Eggs that are not British Lion eggs carry the risk of salmonella.

Alcohol

There is no safe level of alcohol consumption in pregnancy. Even a small amount of alcohol can cause long term harm to your baby. This includes wine, beer, cider and spirits.

Unpasteurised milk

Milk and milk products that have not been pasteurised have an increased risk of listeriosis and toxoplasmosis which can lead to miscarriage and fetal abnormalities. 

For more information about what foods to eat and which ones to avoid, download our leaflet below:

For more information on which food to avoid during pregnancy and why, visit this NHS website