Food Safety During Pregnancy


Food safety in pregnancy by Dr Joseph Sgroi
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As soon as you find out your pregnant, naturally you will start to consider more what foods and nutrients are going into your body to prepare you well for pregnancy and birth and to support your rapidly growing and developing baby.

First, lets start with food best avoided during pregnancy and why:

Meat, Poultry & Seafood:

  • Processed meats (e.g. salami, ham, chicken slices)
  • Any raw meat
  • Cold meats in a salad bar
  • Raw seafood or ready-to-eat prawns
  • Pate’s, meat spreads
  • Sushi purchased from a shop

Dairy & Eggs:

  • Soft and semi-soft cheese (brie, camembert, ricotta, feta, blue cheese) unless it has been cooked over 75 degrees and is eaten whilst hot
  • Soft serve and fried ice-cream
  • Any unpasteurised or raw dairy products (milk, cream, yoghurt)
  • Raw eggs on their own or in uncooked food products such as mayonnaise, aioli, chocolate mousse, cake and pancake batters
  • All the above should be avoided as they could carry harmful bacteria such as salmonella or listeria, which could put your baby at risk during your pregnancy.

Safe to eat:

  • Hot takeaway BBQ chickens, meats, etc. – provided they are freshly cooked and eaten whilst still hot.  Only keep for one day, and reheat to over 60 degrees before consuming.
  • Home cooked meats, providing they are cooked to over 70 degrees and eaten within a day – reheated to over 60 degrees.
  • Cooked fish to over 60 degrees, and eaten hot.  To be eaten within and day and re-heated to over 60 degrees.
  • Home-made sushi – providing its eaten straight away and doesn’t contain seafood or cold meats.
  • Processed cheese, cheese spreads, cottage cheese, cream cheese – eat within 2 days of opening the packet.
  • Hard cheeses – to be stored in fridge
  • Normal ice cream – to be eaten whilst frozen
  • Pasteurised milk, cream, yoghurt, custard
  • Cooked eggs (scrambled/fried), quiches – cooked

About the Author

Dr Joseph Sgroi is an an Obstetrician, Gynaecologist and IVF/Fertility Specialist at Epworth Freemasons, St Vincent’s Private, Frances Perry House and Melbourne IVF providing care to patients in the areas of obstetrics, gynaecology, IVF, male and female infertility.

His aim is to assist women and couples to become pregnant and support them throughout pregnancy and childbirth. As part of this commitment I make myself available to attend births and emergencies every day and night.

Dr Joseph Sgroi is a committee member on the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RANZCOG) Council and the RANZCOG Women’s Health Policy Committee. This peak professional body aims to improve the health outcomes for women, couples and their babies.