Many pregnant women worry about what they can and cannot eat. Here is a list of all the "problem" foods pregnant women should discuss with the doctor.

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Raw or Undercooked Food of Animal Origin

Undercooked animal foods such as rare meat, raw oysters, clams, sushi, ceviche and unpasteurized eggs (even raw cookie dough or cake batter) may contain a variety of bacteria, viruses or parasites. Be sure to test the doneness of meat, poultry and fish with a food thermometer and cook eggs until they are no longer runny.

As tempting as it might be, best not to lick the spoon after mixing cookie dough or cake batter.

Hot Dogs, Luncheon Meats and Unpasteurized Dairy Foods

Turkey, bologna, salami and other processed meats (including pates or meat spreads) and seafood (including smoked salmon, trout, whitefish) are prone to Listeria monocytogenes which is a bacteria that causes Listeriosis.

Raw Milk and Dairy Products made from Unpasteurized Milk

Soft cheeses such as Brie, Feta, Camembert, Roquefort, blue-veined, queso blanco, queso fresco and queso panela.

Large Fishes

Swordfish, shark, tilefish and king mackerel contain higher concentrations of mercury compared to other fish. The FDA says that pregnant and nursing women can eat up to 12 ounces weekly of seafood low in mercury.

Raw Unwashed Vegetables and Sprouts

Make sure to wash all lettuces and vegetables and avoid uncooked sprouts including alfalfa, clover, radish and mung bean sprouts as they can contain e-coli or salmonella bacteria. Rinsing spouts will not remove the bacteria, so only eat cooked sprouts during pregnancy. It is okay to eat thoroughly washed lettuces and vegetables and cooked sprouts.

Unpasteurized Juices

Avoid unpasteurized juices such as cider or fresh squeezed juices. Check the label make sure the juice is pasteurized. Unpasteurized juices are prone to germs including E. coli.


According to the CDC there is no level of alcohol consumption that is considered safe at any time during pregnancy.


The March of Dines recommends limiting caffeine consumption to 200 milligrams a day (that is about 12 ounces of coffee). Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, soft drinks, energy beverages, and even decaffeinated coffee.

For more information, speak with your doctor or visit one of these sites.