If this is your first pregnancy, you might be hearing a lot of advice regarding how best to protect your health and your baby’s safety. From remedies to cure morning sickness to ways to induce labor, a lot of information may be thrown your way. One of these things that may be overlooked is specific foods and beverages to avoid that could potentially contain harmful bacteria that could make you or your baby sick. AFTH is here to give you a quick overview of some of these foods and drinks to be cautious of throughout your pregnancy.

Unpasteurized Dairy and Juice

Dairy is an essential source of protein and calcium to help your baby’s growth and development; however, the source in which you receive this dairy is something you should be mindful of. While all kinds of milk at supermarkets are pasteurized, it is vital to be conscious of other dairy products you are consuming, such as cheese and yogurt made with unpasteurized milk. Consuming these unpasteurized products leaves you vulnerable to many potentially harmful bacteria. To avoid this, check a product’s label to confirm it is made with pasteurized milk. It’s important to note that ensuring a product is pasteurized doesn’t exclusively go for just dairy. Some juices, such as apple cider and fresh-squeeze juices, can also contain harmful bacteria if unpasteurized, so make sure to double-check the labels of these products as well.


Pregnancy is a draining journey because you are literally growing a human being inside you. Caffeine pick-me-ups are a staple of life for many, but during pregnancy, it’s essential to consider the amount of caffeine you consume. Over-consumption of caffeine can negatively affect your baby’s growth, so it’s best to limit your caffeine intake to 200 milligrams of caffeine or less each day. In addition to considering the amount of caffeine you consume, you may also need to be mindful of the sources from which you receive this caffeine. Coffee and energy drinks may seem obvious, but also be conscientious of coffee-flavored products like ice cream, sodas, certain teas, energy bars, chocolate, and even some medicines.

Hot Dogs and Deli Meats

Sandwiches can be an easy late-night pregnancy craving suppressor, but you’ll need to be mindful about what you’re putting on these sandwiches. Many of these deli meats, and hotdogs, are preserved with nitrates and nitrites, which, when consumed in high amounts, can be harmful to the growing fetus.

Raw Sprouts and Pre-made Deli Salads

Healthy eating is always a goal of pregnancy. Foods such as bean sprouts and pre-made pasta salads can make this goal more realistic, but remember that these can also be natural sources of bacteria. While not always the case, sprouts have been linked to some E.coli and Salmonella outbreaks, so while it’s not something you necessarily need to stay clear of, it would be best to avoid them during your pregnancy to be safe. The same reasoning goes for pre-made deli salads. While it is not certain that they harbor bacteria, they could potentially host Listeria, so to be safe, it’s best to avoid these choices or make your own at home.