Food safety during pregnancy

What you should and shouldn’t eat during pregnancy varies from country to country, but there are some food safety guidelines that all pregnant women can follow.
Care when handling food is especially important when you’re pregnant.
Extra care should be taken:
  • When buying unwrapped foods (e.g. cooked meats and prepared salads) as these foods can easily grow and carry germs.
  • With ready cooked foods sold chilled. You should not eat these foods cold, instead you should make sure ready-prepared meals are heated until piping hot throughout and throw away any leftovers. Never reheat food more than once.


As you may know, Salmonella infection is a common cause of illness that is commonly associated with chicken and raw eggs. To avoid getting sick from Salmonella make sure:

  • Poultry is thoroughly defrosted in the fridge and cooked until piping hot throughout.
  • Eggs are cooked so both the white and yolk are solid.


Toxoplasmosis is an infection caused by a parasite found in raw meat, cat faeces and soil that can seriously affect the health of your unborn baby. It is important that you make sure you avoid it by:

  • Wearing rubber gloves when emptying cat litter trays.
  • Washing hands after handling cats.
  • Wearing gloves while gardening.
  • Washing vegetables and salad thoroughly to remove any soil or dirt.
  • Washing hands after handling raw meat.
  • Cooking meat thoroughly.

Safe foods

It can be confusing to be sure which foods are safe to eat during pregnancy. The following lists foods that are ok to eat when you’re expecting:

  • Cooked shellfish (including prawns that are part of a hot meal, and have been cooked thoroughly)
  • Live or bio yogurt
  • Probiotic drinks
  • Fromage frais
  • Crème fraîche
  • Sour cream
  • Spicy food
  • Mayonnaise, ice cream and salad dressing made with pasteurized egg are safe. Home-made versions may contain raw eggs, so avoid. If you are not sure when eating out, ask staff for more information or avoid.
  • Honey may be eaten during pregnancy, but is not suitable for babies under one year.
  • Cheddar
  • Parmesan
  • Feta
  • Ricotta
  • Mascarpone
  • Cream cheese
  • Mozzarella

Please be aware that the information given in these articles is only intended as general advice and should in no way be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice. If you or your family or your child is suffering from symptoms or conditions which are severe or persistent or you need specific medical advice, please seek professional medical assistance. Philips AVENT cannot be held responsible for any damages that result from the use of the information provided on this website.

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