Maternity Diet

Why It Is Not Safe To Eat Sushi During Pregnancy

Max. D Gray
By Max. D Gray. Updated: January 16, 2017
Why It Is Not Safe To Eat Sushi During Pregnancy

¿Sushi during pregnancy? It's best not to eat it. This is because this Japanese dish often contains raw fish, something that is strongly discouraged for pregnant women because it may contain bacteria or components that can be harmful to the mother and baby and could even cause a miscarriage. For this reason, you should be very careful during your 9 months and avoid sushi for a while. In this OneHowTo article, we'll tell you why you cannot eat sushi during pregnancy.


  1. Raw fish during pregnancy
  2. Anisakis in pregnancy
  3. Eating in pregnancy

Raw fish during pregnancy

As mentioned above, the problem with sushi is that it contains raw fish and this food is strongly discouraged for pregnant women as it may contain products that can affect (severely) pregnancy. In general terms, sushi consumption can produce three types of different infections:

  • Bacterial infections: listeria bacteria in particular is most often found in raw fish and can cause a condition called listeriosis. It can cause abortions, stillbirths or newborn diseases; therefore, it is important not to eat any meat, fish, smoked salmon or unpasteurised milk.
  • Parasitic infections: the most commonly known is that which causes anisakis, a condition that causes severe pain in the gut and can weaken the health of the pregnant woman. Also, normal treatment to cure this infection cannot be administered to pregnant women.
  • Chemical pollution: mercury is one of the heavy metals that are common in raw fish, especially in species such as swordfish, Bluefin tuna, the emperor fish, the panga or shark.
Why It Is Not Safe To Eat Sushi During Pregnancy - Raw fish during pregnancy

Anisakis in pregnancy

Anisaki is a parasite commonly found in fish like salmon, hake, tuna, sardines, anchovies or herring. However, nowadays, many other fish also contain this, which is why it is important to exercise extreme caution. If you are infected with Anisaki, you will suffer from a number of symptoms including the following:

  • Severe pains in the stomach
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.
  • Fever
  • Changes in stool, e.g. diarrhoea that lasts for several months
  • It can also cause allergic reactions (rashes, breathing problems, etc.)

The reason that this bacteria is harmful to pregnant women is because, in this state, women have a much weaker immune system and fighting this bacteria can be an arduous task which may lead to anything from a fainting fit to losing the baby.

Why It Is Not Safe To Eat Sushi During Pregnancy - Anisakis in pregnancy

Eating in pregnancy

You should not eat sushi in pregnancy so as to avoid running the risk of contracting the above-mentioned diseases. However, this does not mean you cannot eat fish: fish is packed with nutrients and vitamins that will help your child to grow and be healthy. However, they must be cooked thoroughly to kill any bacteria or parasites that may be present.

In addition, it is recommended that you buy frozen fish because temperatures below -20 degrees kill any parasites. To eat fish without risk during pregnancy, buy frozen and cook well to be 100% protected.

Raw meat also contain infectious components. Therefore, avoid dishes like carpaccio and any type of cold meats as the meat is not cooked at all. Obviously, you should not drink alcohol during pregnancy. Also avoid caffeinated beverages such as coffee or fizzy drinks.

In this OneHowTo article, we explain in more detail some beneficial foods to eat when pregnant.

Why It Is Not Safe To Eat Sushi During Pregnancy - Eating in pregnancy

This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.

If you want to read similar articles to Why It Is Not Safe To Eat Sushi During Pregnancy, we recommend you visit our Family health category.

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Why It Is Not Safe To Eat Sushi During Pregnancy