Wondering if you can eat sushi when pregnant and if it is safe? Concerns with sushi centre around becoming unwell from parasitic worms, which are not killed off by cooking. So how safe is raw fish to eat during pregnancy?
Firstly sushi grade fish is the highest grade of fish quality, designed to be eaten raw. The vast majority of sushi consumed in UK and EU is using fish farmed in the UK and EU, and is therefore, very unlikely to contain parasitic worms. There is a risk of parasitic worms in wild fish.
Freezing fish kills off these parasitic worms, and again the majority of the fish used in commercial sushi is frozen first. This means that the risk of parasitic worms in sushi using farmed fish that has been frozen, is so low that it sushi is considered safe to eat during pregnancy. Restaurants that buy in ready-made sushi, will also use fish that has been frozen.
Oily fish like salmon, frequently seen in sushi are an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids. Omega fatty acids cannot be produced by your body, so it is essential that you eat them in your diet. It is recommended that you eat between one to two portions of oily fish per week, but no more because of the risk of contamination with pollutants.
Larger fish higher up the food chain, concentrate pollutants, such as mercury. Mercury has been associated with risk of damage to the developing foetal nervous system. So avoid swordfish, shark and marlin during pregnancy. Tuna contains more mercury than salmon, so guidance is to limit weekly intake to two raw tuna steaks or approximately 340g.
Commercial sushi from a restaurant or supermarket generally use fish that has been farmed in the UK or EU is therefore very unlikely to contain parasitic worms. This risk is further reduced by freezing the fish before eating it. So commercial sushi in the UK, is safe to eat when pregnant. Enjoy!
I hope that clearly answered if you can eat sushi when pregnant.
Have you tried to make your own sushi?
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If you found this information useful, check out my other articles on what to eat during pregnancy including what to eat during pregnancy.