Skip to main content

Barwon Health / Maternity Services

(03) 4215 2060

Eating well and food safety

Eating well during pregnancy is important for you and your baby. Pregnancy increases you need for many nutrients such as protein, calcium, iron and certain vitamins. Only a small rise in additional calories is needed. It is therefore important to look at the quality of the food you eat and serving sizes.

Planning regular meals by using a food group guide will ensure variety and help you to meet most of your nutritional requirements. If you often skip meals you may find it difficult to eat well and get enough nutrients.


Click here to download the full document.

While it is important for all people to practise safe food handling it is particularly so when starting a family. You can reduce the risk of developing Listeria (bacteria found in soil) or other food borne infections, such as gastroenteritis or Toxoplasmosis (a parasite found in raw meat and cat faeces) by following some basic hygiene and food storage rules:Food safety

  • Wash your hands before preparing food and between handling raw and ready-to-eat foods
  • Keep stored food covered
  • Thoroughly wash fruit and raw vegetables before eating or juicing
  • Thoroughly cook all food of animal origin, including eggs
  • Keep hot foods hot (above 60ºC)
  • Reheat left over food until steaming hot. Only buy ready-to-eat hot food if it’s steaming hot
  • Store raw meat, raw poultry and raw fish on the lowest shelves in the refrigerator to prevent them dripping onto cooked food or ready to eat foods
  • Keep cold food cold (at or below 5ºC) and keep your refrigerator clean
  • Place all cooked food in the refrigerator within an hour of cooking
  • Strictly observe use-by dates on refrigerated foods
  • Do not handle cooked foods with the same utensils (tongs, knives, and cutting board) used on raw

It is best to avoid these high risk foods during pregnancy




Pre-cooked cold meat products  pre cooked cold meat products

Pre-cooked meat products if 
eaten cold

e.g. paté, sliced deli meat, cooked diced chicken

Soft cheeses  soft cheeses e.g. brie, camembert, ricotta, feta
Seafood  seafood

Uncooked, smoked or ready-to-eat seafood

e.g. smoked fish or mussels

Soft serve ice-cream  soft serve ice cream Soft serve ice-cream or soft serve frozen yoghurt
Pre-prepared salads  pre prepared salads

Pre-prepared coleslaw and salads

e.g. from salad bars, delicatessen

Raw milk 
& egg
 raw milk egg Raw (unpasteurised) milk or food made from raw milk, or raw eggs

Last Modified: Wednesday, 25 September 2019