Party Foods to Avoid During Pregnancy

Holiday food that pregnant women should approach with caution


The buffet spread at the holiday party you were invited to may look tempting, but pregnant women should approach with caution. You don’t always know the ingredients or how the food was prepared or stored. Those things matter, because some bacteria or toxins from food can put your baby at risk.  

That doesn’t mean you can’t join in on the holiday fun! Just be aware of the foods you should leave behind.



Here are some of the more common offenders:

  • Stuffing cooked inside a turkey or chicken, because it may not get hot enough to kill salmonella bacteria. If there is some stuffing cooked in a separate casserole dish or pan, that would be a safer choice.
  • Undercooked ground meat (hamburgers that are pink inside) or undercooked chicken (pink or clear inside).
  • Sliced, processed deli meats (such as bologna) can harbour listeria bacteria which can cause serious infections.
  • Raw oysters.
  • Homemade eggnog made with partially-cooked eggs.
  • Homemade Caesar salad dressing (again, because it uses raw eggs).
  • Soft cheeses, unless you are sure they are pasteurized. These include brie, feta, camembert, queso blanco and queso fresco.
  • Sushi made with raw fish.
  • Any food (especially meat, fish, dairy products or eggs) that have been sitting out at room temperature for more than an hour or so. Remember that ingredients such as mayonnaise can contain eggs, so potato salad that has been on the buffet table for three hours may be dangerous.

In doubt, your best bet might be to ask about the ingredients just to ensure you and your baby are safe.

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