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Safe Food Guide For Pregnancy

The table below outlines the foods that you should always avoid during pregnancy due to their higher risk of causing listeriosis and other forms of food poisoning . It also includes some foods that are medium or low risk and safe to eat if the correct safety precautions are followed.

Download safe food guide for pregnancy here

Food Category

Food Type

Safety Precautions

Meat, poultry and seafood

Processed meats

Ham, salami, luncheon, chicken meat etc.

X Don’t eat

Raw meat

Any raw meat, raw chicken or other poultry, beef, pork etc

X Don’t eat


Cold chicken or turkey, e.g. used in sandwich bars

X Don’t eat

Hot takeaway chicken

Purchase freshly cooked and eat while hot. Store leftovers in fridge to reheat and use within a day of cooking


Ensure chicken is cooked thoroughly and eat while hot. Store any leftovers in fridge to reheat and use within a day of cooking


Refrigerated pâté or meat spreads

X Don’t eat


Raw seafood

X Don’t eat

Ready-to-eat chilled peeled prawns

X Don’t eat

Cooked fish and seafood

Cook thoroughly until steaming and eat while hot. Store leftovers in the fridge to reheat and use within a day of cooking



X Don’t eat


Don’t use raw meat or seafood, eat immediately

Cooked meats

Beef, pork, chicken, mince

Cook thoroughly, eat while hot

Dairy & eggs


Soft and semi-soft cheese,eg brie, camembert, ricotta, fetta,

X Don’t eat

Processed cheese, cheese spreads, cottage cheese, cream cheese etc

Store in the fridge, eat within two days of opening pack

Hard cheese, e.g. cheddar, tasty cheese

Store in the fridge


Soft serve

X Don’t eat

Fried ice-cream

X Don’t eat

Packaged frozen ice-cream

Keep and eat frozen


Unpasteurised (raw)

X Don’t eat

Pasteurised, eg milk, cream, yoghurt

Check ‘best before’ or ‘use-by’ date. Follow storage instructions



Can be eaten cold if freshly opened. Store in fridge to reheat and use within a day of opening. Check ‘best before’ or ‘use-by’ date


Cook thoroughly and eat while hot. Store in fridge. Always reheat and use within a day of making


Cooked egg dishes eg fried eggs, scrambled eggs, quiche

Cook thoroughly. Don’t use cracked or dirty eggs

Raw in food eg home-made mayonnaise, chocolate mousse, aioli

X Don’t eat

In non-refrigerated commercial products eg mayonnaise, aioli

Check ‘best before’ or ‘use-by’ date
Follow storage instructions

Vegetables & fruit


Pre-prepared or pre-packaged salads including fruit salad, eg from salad bars, smorgasbords

X Don’t eat


Wash salad ingredients well just before making and eating salads, store any leftover salads in fridge and use within a day of preparation


Whole fresh fruits

Wash well before eating

Vegetables and herbs

Fresh vegetables and herbs

Wash well just before eating raw or wash
before cooking

Frozen vegetables

Cook, don’t eat uncooked

Bean sprouts

Alfalfa sprouts, broccoli sprouts, onion sprouts, sunflower sprouts, clover sprouts, radish sprouts,snowpea sprouts, mung beans and soybean sprouts

X Don’t eat raw or lightly cooked

Other foods


Cooked foods

Store leftovers covered in the fridge, eat within a day and always reheat until steaming hot

Canned foods

Tinned fruit, vegetables, fish etc

Store unused portions in the fridge in clean, sealed containers and use within a day


Stuffing from chicken or poultry

X Don’t eat unless cooked separately and eat hot


Store-bought or home-made

Store in fridge, eat within two days of opening or making


All soy products, e.g. tofu, soy milk, soy yoghurt etc

Check ‘best before’ or ‘use-by’ date. Follow storage instructions

Table adapted from The Food Authority NSW (external link)

For more information see:
Pregnancy and food safety (external link) from the Food Authority NSW
Listeria and food - the risk to people with weakened immune systems (external link) from Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ)
Listeria and food: commonly asked questions (external link) from FSANZ
Listeria and pregnancy VIDEO (external link) from FSANZ


>>Other Foods To Be Cautious of During Pregnancy>>

More on Pregnancy

 Further Information

For families of babies and young children who reside or work in W.A.,
if you need further assistance contact the
Ngala Helpline
Telephone 9368 9368 or Country Access 1800 111 546
8am to 8pm 7 days a week or
Contact the Ngala Helpline online 

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