List of safe food in pregnancy

When you are pregnant, making safe food choices is very important. Get to know what you can and can't eat when you are pregnant.


What to eat when 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. You can also download our pullout guide that has the same information.

Download the pullout guide [PDF, 755 KB]

Guide to food safety in pregnancy

FOOD TYPEWHAT TO DO
Breads and cereals
Breads all types OK to eat
Cakes, slices, muffins 
  • plain
OK to eat
  • with added cream or custard
Don't eat (unless cream is newly opened and custard is home-made and fresh)
Cereals breakfast cereals, rice, pasta, and similar OK to eat – refer to dairy products below for advice on milk
Dairy
Cheese
  • soft unpasteurised (raw milk) cheese (for example, Roquefort)
Don't eat
  • soft pasteurised cheese (for example, brie, camembert, blue, ricotta, mozzarella, feta)
Generally should not be eaten uncooked while pregnant. However, OK to eat in small quantities if purchased in the manufacturer's original packaging and eaten immediately after opening. Do not reseal to eat later, and do not eat if cheese has been repackaged in a deli or supermarket as may have become contaminated
  • hard cheese (for example, cheddar, parmesan)
OK to eat, store in fridge
  • cottage cheese, cream cheese or similar
Buy in sealed packs; eat cold or cooked within 2 days of opening pack
Butter all types OK to eat, store in fridge
Cream fresh, unwhipped or whipped, sour cream and similar Buy in sealed packs; eat within 2 days of opening pack
Custard
  • ready-made chilled (packaged)
Eat within 2 days of opening
  • home-made
Eat hot immediately after cooking; reheat leftovers until piping hot (over 70 degrees Celsius) and eat immediately
Milk
  • pasteurised
Drink or use within 2 days of opening
  • unpasteurised (raw)
Don't drink or use
Ice cream
  • packaged
OK to eat
  • soft serve
Don't eat
Yoghurt
  • pasteurised
Eat within 2 days of opening
  • unpasteurised (raw)
Don't eat
Eggs
Raw eggs in egg flips, eggnog, smoothies, home-made mayonnaise and dressings, home-made ice cream, mousse and tiramisu, and similar Don't eat
Cooked eggs fried, scrambled, baked, poached, and similar Cook well (firm yolks, firm scrambled eggs)
Meat and poultry
Cooked meats beef, pork, chicken, mince, sausages, and similar Cook until piping hot throughout, and until juices run clear (use a meat thermometer to check temperatures); eat while hot; never eat rare or undercooked meats; store leftovers covered in fridge and eat within 2 days; reheat leftovers until piping hot (over 70 degrees Celsius)
Processed meats ham, salami, luncheon, pâté, pastrami, biltong, or jerky (dried meat), and similar Don't eat unless heated until piping hot (over 70 degrees Celsius)
Cold cooked poultry any cold pre-cooked poultry (for example, chicken and turkey) Don't eat unless heated until piping hot (over 70 degrees Celsius)
Raw meat any raw meat, raw chicken or other poultry, beef, pork, and similar Don't eat or taste; don't touch face, mouth or eyes while preparing; wash and dry hands well after touching raw meat
Seafood
Raw fish any raw fish (including marinated raw fish) Don't eat
Raw shellfish any raw shellfish (including marinated raw mussels) Don't eat
Smoked fish, shellfish and crustacea chilled, pre-cooked fish, mussels, oysters*, scallops*, salmon, crayfish, prawns, and similar Don't eat unless heated until piping hot (over 70 degrees Celsius)
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, and similar
Don't eat
  • home-made
Wash salad ingredients well before using
Herbs fresh home-grown and store-bought Wash well before using
Miscellaneous
Leftovers cooked foods Store leftovers covered in fridge and eat within 2 days; reheat leftovers until piping hot (over 70 degrees Celsius); never eat cold leftovers
Canned foods canned fruit, vegetables, fish, seafood, meat, sauces, and similar Remove from can for storage; store uneaten leftovers covered in fridge and eat within 2 days
Sauces, dressings and spreads salad dressings (oil and vinegar), bought mayonnaise, tomato sauce, margarine-type spreads, and similar Store in fridge once opened; check maximum storage time
Sushi
  • store-bought (all types – even without raw seafood)
Don't eat
  • home-made
Use freshly cooked rice, and don't use raw or cold cooked 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 leftovers
in fridge and eat within 2 days; reheat leftovers until piping hot (over 70 degrees Celsius)
Hummus and tahini store-bought or home-made Don't eat
Seaweed
  • Brown seaweed** (like kelp, kombu, wakame, arame, quandai-cai, hiziki/hijiki, or Sargassum fusiforme)
Limit to 1 serve a week
  • Red or green seaweed (including nori and karengo) used in sushi and dulse
OK to eat. See advice on sushi

*Bluff and Pacific oysters and queen scallops contain more cadmium than other foods. We recommend you eat these shellfish only once a month during pregnancy.

**Brown seaweeds contain naturally very high iodine concentrations. Brown seaweeds are typically sold dry and are used in soups, stewed dishes, kelp salt and seaweed salads.


Recommended servings for fish species to minimise mercury intakes

No restriction necessary

Anchovy • Arrow squid • Barracouta • Blue cod • Brill/Turbot • Brown trout (except from Lake Ellesmere) • Cockles • Eel, long or short finned • Elephant fish • Flounders • Gurnard • Hoki • John Dory • Monkfish or stargazer • Mussels (green and blue) • Orange perch • Oysters (except Bluff and Pacific) • Parore • Scallops (except Queen) • Rainbow trout (only from non-geothermal regions) • Skipjack tuna (No data for yellowfin tuna) • Sole (except Lemon sole) • Southern blue whiting • Surf clams (for example, tuatua) • Tarakihi • Toothfish, Antarctic • Warehou (common, silver and white) • Whitebait (Inanga)

3 – 4 servings a week acceptable

Albacore tuna • Alfonsino • Bass • Bluenose • Gemfish • Ghost sharks • Hake • Hapuka (Groper) • Javelin Fish • Kahawai • Kingfish • Lake Taupo trout • Leatherjacket • Lemon sole • Ling • Mackerel (blue and jack) • Orange Roughy • Oreo dories • Red cod • Ribaldo • Rig (Lemonfish, Spotted dogfish) • Rock Lobster • Salmon (farmed) • Sea perch • Silverside • Skate • Smooth oreo • Snapper • Sprats • Trevally

1 serving every 1 to 2 weeks acceptable

Cardinal fish • Dogfish (excluding rig) • Lake Rotomahana trout • Lake trout from geothermal regions • School shark (Greyboy, Tope) • Marlin (striped) • Southern bluefin tuna • Swordfish

 

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