Holiday Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

white ceramic house miniature on top of table

Discover Which Party Foods are Unsafe for Pregnant Women to Eat

When you are attending holiday parties and making traditional meals during the holiday season, there are several foods that you should avoid during your pregnancy.

Avoid Eggnog When You Are Pregnant

Eggnog is a favorite holiday drink at many parties. Unfortunately, most eggnog recipes still call for raw eggs. Raw eggs can contain harmful bacteria such as salmonella. It is best for expectant mothers when considering drinking eggnog that you find out the ingredients prior to consuming any of it.

Sushi May be a Holiday Party Food to Avoid if You are Expecting

Some pregnant mothers may consider eating raw fish such as sushi during pregnancy; however, raw fish can contain also harmful levels of bacteria including salmonella. It is best to not take the chance that the sushi you are eating might contain bacteria and make you sick. Instead, try vegetarian sushi that contain cucumbers, avocados and other vegetables to satisfy your cravings for sushi.

Soft Cheeses May Contain Listeria and Should be Avoided During Pregnancy

Nearly every holiday party will include trays of assorted cheeses, crackers, fruits and vegetables. Soft cheeses that are not pasteurized can be harbingers of a specific bacteria known as listeria. While foods contaminated with listeria can make a healthy person very sick, listeria has been shown to cause serious complications in pregnant women, including miscarriages and stillbirths.

Some of these soft cheeses that pregnant women should avoid include bleu cheese, feta cheese, camambert and brie. A good rule of thumb is to ask your party hostess to read the label on the cheese to make sure it is pasteurized prior to eating it since the pasteurization will help to kill listeria.

Smoked Salmon May be an Unsafe Holiday Food for Expectant Mothers to Eat

Another holiday food is smoked salmon. A smoked salmon that contained listeria should cause expectant mothers to think twice about eating it during pregnancy. The particular brand of salmon that was recalled was called Smoked Nova Salmon with the phrase “Brooklyn’s Best” on its clear packaging. Just to be safe, expectant mothers might consider avoiding all brands of smoked salmon while they are pregnant.

Holiday Punch May Contain Alcohol and is Unsafe for Expectant Mothers

A holiday party would not be complete without the typical party punch. Unfortunately, for expectant mothers, it often requires that they ask the party hostess if there is alcohol in the punch before they consume it. Since there are no known safe limits on the amount of alcohol during pregnancy, be sure to check if the holiday party punch has any alcohol added.

So as you attend holiday parties this year, be sure to watch out for the holiday foods that may be unsafe especially during pregnancy. An excellent resource to check foods that have been recalled due to known or suspected contamination is the US FDA website.