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Women should consider food safety during pregnancy. You can typically eat the same things that you ate when you were not pregnant, but in the first few months of your pregnancy, your baby can be hurt by toxins (poisons) or bacteria (germs). For this reason, you need to be aware of these food dangers and learn how to choose and prepare your food safely. Below is a list of foods you can and should not eat. If you have any questions, please call our office at 217-222-6550, ext. 3753

Fish (Fresh)

  • Shark, Swordfish, King Mackerel, Tilefish – Do NOT eat.
  • Farmed Salmon – Limit to 1 meal a month
  • Albacore Tuna (“White” Tuna) – Limit to 1 meal a week.
  • Shrimp, Canned Light Tuna, Canned or Wild Salmon, Pollack, Catfish – Limit to 2 meals a week.

Note: Cook fish by broiling, baking, steaming, or grilling. Remove skin and fat before cooking. Do not eat the fat that drains from the fish while cooking.

Smoked Fish

  • Canned Smoked Fish or Meat Spread – Limit to 2 meals a week.

Deli Meats

  • Deli Meat Spread – Do NOT eat.
  • Hotdogs, Lunch Meat, Deli Meat, Deil Smoked Fish – Do not eat unless you reheat to steaming hot.

Meat (Beef, Chicken, Pork)

  • Raw or Rotten Meat – Do NOT eat.

Note: Cook all meats all the way through. When you eat meat, you should not see any pink inside the flesh

Note: After cutting up raw meat, clean the cutting surface with bleach, soap, and hot water before cutting any raw fruit or vegetables.

Milk and Cheese

  • Unpasteurized Milk – Do NOT drink.
  • Skim or 1% Pasteurized Milk – Drink all you want.
  • Feta, Brie, Camembert, Blue-Veined Cheeses, Mexican Style Queso Blanco Fresco – Do NOT eat.
  • Hard Cheeses, Semi-Soft Cheeses (like Mozzarella), Processed Cheese Slices, Cream Cheese – Eat all you want.
  • Cottage Cheese – Eat all you want.
  • Yogurt Made with Pasteurized Milk – Eat all you want.

Raw Foods

  • Raw meat, raw fish, raw shellfish, foods with raw eggs, raw vegetable sprouts, or unpasteurized milk or juices – Do NOT eat.

How Do I Prepare Food Safely?

  • Wash your hands and cooking surfaces often
  • Keep raw meat away from fruit and vegetables and cooked meat
  • Cook your food until it is steaming hot
  • Cook meats until no pink remains
  • Keep uneaten food cold or frozen
  • Keep your refrigerator at 40°F or less
  • Keep your freezer at 0°F or less
  • Throw away food that is left at room temperature for 2 hours or more
  • Do not eat foods if they are past the expiration date on the label

Learn more about food safety at https://www.cdc.gov/foodsafety/.