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Everything You Need to Know About Eating Smoked Salmon While Pregnant

Everything You Need to Know About Eating Smoked Salmon While Pregnant

Eating Smoked Salmon While Pregnant

Eating seafood while pregnant is a great way to get the nutrients you and your baby need. But if you’re a fan of smoked salmon, you’ll need to be extra careful. In this blog post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about eating smoked salmon while pregnant, including the risks, safety tips, and even some delicious recipes. Read on to learn more about how you can safely enjoy this delicious food while keeping you and your baby safe.

1. Is It Safe to Eat Smoked Salmon While Pregnant?

When it comes to eating smoked salmon while pregnant, the answer is not a simple yes or no. It depends on the type of smoked salmon you are eating. Cold-smoked salmon, which is not heated before processing, can contain dangerous parasites and bacteria that can be harmful to an unborn baby. On the other hand, hot-smoked salmon that has been heated to 165℉ is generally considered safe for pregnant women to eat.

Cold-Smoked Salmon

Cold-smoked salmon is typically made with raw fish, meaning it’s not heated before it’s processed. This type of smoked salmon can contain dangerous parasites and bacteria, such as tapeworms and Listeria, which could harm an unborn baby. Therefore, it’s best to avoid cold-smoked salmon completely while pregnant.

Hot-Smoked Salmon

Hot-smoked salmon is typically made with cooked fish and is heated to 165℉. This type of smoked salmon is usually considered safe for pregnant women to eat in moderation. However, pregnant women should still be mindful of their portion sizes and should always check the label for any additional ingredients that could be hazardous for pregnant women.

Shelf-Stable Smoked Salmon

Shelf-stable smoked salmon is pre-cooked and processed to extend its shelf-life. This type of smoked salmon is usually considered safe for pregnant women to eat as long as it has been heated to 165℉. However, pregnant women should always check the label for any additional ingredients that could be hazardous for pregnant women.

In conclusion, it is generally safe to eat hot-smoked salmon and shelf-stable smoked salmon while pregnant. However, it is best to avoid cold-smoked salmon completely as it can contain dangerous parasites and bacteria that can be harmful to an unborn baby. Additionally, pregnant women should always check the label for any additional ingredients that could be hazardous for pregnant women.

2. What Are the Risks of Eating Cold-Smoked Salmon While Pregnant?

It’s important for pregnant women to be aware of the potential risks of eating cold-smoked salmon while pregnant. Cold-smoked salmon is typically smoked at a lower temperature than hot-smoked salmon, which means it’s not cooked. This makes it more susceptible to bacteria and other contaminants that can be harmful to pregnant women.

Cold-smoked salmon has a higher risk of containing parasites such as tapeworms or flukes, which can cause infection and can be very dangerous for pregnant women. Additionally, cold-smoked salmon can contain the bacteria Listeria, which can cause serious and even fatal illness in pregnant women and their unborn babies.

It’s important to note that hot-smoked salmon is generally thought to be safe for pregnant women, as long as it’s heated to an internal temperature of 165℉. Shelf-stable forms of hot-smoked salmon, such as canned or vacuum-sealed, are also safe to consume, as the smoking process has already killed any potential bacteria.

Pregnant women should also be aware that cold-smoked salmon is often labeled as “lox” or “nova-style,” and that it’s typically found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store.

To be safe, pregnant women should always avoid eating uncooked cold-smoked salmon, as the risks are simply too great. Hot-smoked salmon, on the other hand, is generally safe when heated to 165℉ or when consumed in shelf-stable forms, such as canned or vacuum-sealed.

By understanding the risks and being aware of the types of smoked salmon available, pregnant women can safely enjoy the flavor of smoked salmon while staying healthy.

3. How to Safely Enjoy Hot-Smoked Salmon While Pregnant.

Hot-smoked salmon is a tasty and nutritious option for pregnant women, but there are some important safety precautions to consider. Hot-smoked salmon is a type of salmon that has been cooked at a high temperature, usually over a wood fire or in a smoker. The high heat used to cook the salmon helps to reduce the risk of foodborne illnesses, making it a safe option for pregnant women.

Check the Label: When purchasing hot-smoked salmon, it is important to check the label to make sure that it has been cooked to an internal temperature of at least 145°F. This will ensure that any harmful bacteria or parasites have been killed.

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Avoid Raw or Undercooked Salmon: It is important to avoid eating raw or undercooked salmon while pregnant, as it can contain harmful bacteria or parasites that can cause foodborne illnesses. It is also important to avoid foods that contain raw or undercooked salmon, such as sushi or ceviche.

Look for Freshness: When purchasing hot-smoked salmon, it is important to look for signs of freshness. The salmon should be firm and have a bright pink color. If the salmon is discolored, slimy, or has an off-odor, it should be avoided.

Store Properly: Hot-smoked salmon should be stored in the refrigerator and consumed within two days of purchase. If the salmon is not going to be eaten immediately, it should be frozen and consumed within two months. It is important to make sure that the salmon is cooked thoroughly before eating.

4. Tips for Eating Smoked Salmon While Pregnant.

Eating smoked salmon while pregnant can be done safely, as long as you take certain precautions. Here are some tips to ensure you enjoy your smoked salmon without any risks:

  • Check for freshness: Make sure the fish is fresh and does not have any off-putting odors. If you are buying from the store, check the “sell by” date.
  • Choose the right type of smoked salmon: Cold-smoked salmon should be avoided while pregnant, as it has been cured with salt, which increases the risk of listeria. Hot-smoked salmon is the safer option, as it has been cooked at high temperatures.
  • Store properly: Smoked salmon should be stored in the refrigerator or freezer. If it has been in the refrigerator for more than two days, it should be thrown out.
  • Cook thoroughly: Hot-smoked salmon should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145˚F. If you are reheating cold-smoked salmon, make sure it is heated to 165˚F.
  • Eat in moderation: To avoid any potential risks to your baby, it is best to eat smoked salmon in moderation. The American Pregnancy Association recommends consuming no more than 6 ounces of fish per week.

Eating smoked salmon while pregnant can be a healthy and delicious addition to your diet, as long as you take the proper precautions. Always choose fresh, high-quality salmon, store it properly, and cook it thoroughly. Eating in moderation is also recommended, as consuming too much smoked salmon can increase the risk of mercury exposure. By following these tips, you can enjoy smoked salmon safely while pregnant.


Eating smoked salmon while pregnant can be a nutritious and delicious way to get the nutrients you and your baby need. As long as you follow the safety tips we’ve discussed, you can rest assured that you and your baby will be safe. So go ahead and enjoy your favorite smoked salmon dishes and get the health benefits that come along with it!

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