List of safe food in pregnancy

When you are pregnant, making safe food choices is very important. Get to know what you can safely eat when you are pregnant.

You may like to print this page and keep it as a handy reference on the fridge, when shopping or dining out to ensure you have a safe pregnancy.

Food type

What to do

Breads and cereals

Breads

all types

OK to eat

Cakes, slices, muffins etc

plain

OK to eat

 

with cream or custard

Don’t eat (unless cream is newly opened and custard is home-made and fresh)

Cereals

breakfast cereals, rice, pasta etc

OK to eat - refer to diary products below for milk information

Dairy products

Cheese

soft unpasteurised (raw milk) cheese (eg, Roquefort)

Don’t eat or use

 

soft pasteurised cheese (eg, brie, camembert, blue, ricotta, mozzarella etc)

Don’t eat unless heated until steaming hot

 

hard yellow cheese (eg, cheddar, parmesan etc)

Buy in small quantities

 

cottage cheese, cream cheese etc

Buy in sealed packs; eat cold or cooked within two days of opening pack; don’t eat leftovers

 

feta cheese

Buy in sealed packs; eat cold or cooked within two days of opening pack; don’t eat leftovers

Butter

all types

Buy in small quantities; store in fridge; ideally eat within two days of opening

Cream

fresh, unwhipped or whipped, sour cream etc

Buy in sealed packs; eat within two days of opening pack; don’t eat leftovers

Custard

ready-made chilled (packaged)

Don’t eat unless heated until steaming hot

 

home-made

Eat while hot immediately after cooking; don’t eat cold leftovers

Milk

pasteurised

Ideally drink or use within two days of opening

 

unpasteurised (raw)

Don’t drink or use

Yoghurt

all types

Check use-by date; ideally eat within two days of opening

Eggs

Raw eggs

in egg flips, eggnog, smoothies, home-made mayonnaise etc

Don’t eat

Cooked eggs

well cooked (fried, scrambled, baked, poached, etc)

Cook well (firm yolks, firm scrambled eggs)

Meat and poultry

Cooked meats

beef, pork, chicken, mince, sausages etc

Cook thoroughly until steaming hot throughout, and until juices run clear; eat while hot; never eat rare or undercooked meats; don’t eat cold leftovers

Processed meats

ham, salami, luncheon, pâté, pastrami, biltong, or jerky (dried meat) etc

Don’t eat unless heated until steaming hot

Cold cooked poultry

any cold pre-cooked poultry (eg, chicken, turkey etc.)

Don’t eat unless heated until steaming hot

Raw meat

any raw meat, raw chicken or other poultry, beef, pork etc

Don’t eat; don’t taste, or touch face, mouth or eyes while preparing; wash and dry hands well after touching raw meats

Seafood

Oysters and Queen scallops

Oysters and Queen scallops

Don’t eat

Raw fish and seafood

any raw fish or seafood

Don’t eat

Smoked fish and seafood

chilled, pre-cooked fish, mussels, salmon etc

Don’t eat unless heated until steaming hot

Cooked fish and seafood

freshly cooked fish, mussels, crayfish, scallops etc

Cook thoroughly until steaming hot throughout; eat while hot

Vegetables, salads and fruits

Fruit

all fresh fruits

Wash and dry well just before eating

Vegetables

all fresh vegetables

Wash and dry well just before eating raw, or wash before cooking

 

frozen vegetables

Cook; don’t eat uncooked frozen vegetables

Salads

ready-made salads and coleslaws from delis, salad bars etc

Don’t eat

 

home-made

Wash and dry salad ingredients well just before making and eating salads

Parsley

home-grown and store bought

Don’t eat raw; can use in cooked dishes

Miscellaneous

Leftovers

cooked foods

Store uneaten leftovers covered in fridge; eat within two days; never eat cold leftovers - always reheat until steaming hot

Tinned foods

tinned fruit, vegetables, fish, seafood, meat, sauces etc

Eat immediately after opening tin (hot or cold); store uneaten leftovers covered in fridge and eat hot (never cold) within two days

Sauces and dressings

salad dressings (oil and vinegar), bought mayonnaise, tomato sauce etc

Store in fridge once opened

Sushi

store bought (all types - even without raw seafood)

Don’t eat

 

home-made

Use freshly cooked rice, and don’t use raw meat or seafood; eat immediately; don’t eat leftovers

Stuffing

stuffing from chicken or turkey

Don’t eat unless stuffing is cooked separately (in a dish); eat hot; store uneaten leftovers in fridge and eat hot within two days

Hummus

store-bought or home-made

Don’t eat