Do you love sushi?
Are you pregnant?
If you said ‘yes’ to these two questions, then you should be aware that raw fish is on the list of ‘foods to avoid’ while you’re pregnant.
This food list can be found in the new Food Safety During Pregnancy booklet from the BC Centre for Disease Control (CDC). Raw fish is one of the foods that Listeria bacteria may be found on. This bacterium can cause a serious illness called Listeriosis, which can harm both mother and baby. But, don’t despair sushi lovers. The good news is that reports of Listeriosis are uncommon in BC, and it can be prevented entirely by avoiding higher risk foods and handling food safely.
When it comes to fish, whether raw or cooked, it’s best to select low mercury species. Cooked salmon, trout, sole and BC and Canadian albacore tuna are all low mercury fish that are safe to eat in any quantities during pregnancy.
Safer choices at your local sushi shop include fully cooked and freshly prepared (low mercury) seafood, meat or egg dishes. Vegetable-based offerings like avocado or cucumber rolls are other good options.
Whether you eat out, or at home, food safety is especially important during pregnancy. Keep yourself in the know by checking out the CDC booklet and the posts and resources listed below.
If you have any questions about food safety and pregnancy, call 8-1-1. A registered dietitian would be happy to help.
BC CDC Eat Safely, Eat Well Pregnancy and Food Safety
BC Ministry of Health: Caring About Food Safety
Government of Canada: Food safety and you
Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Everyday Safe Food Handling Practices