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Mother and Baby

The Pregnant Girl's Guide To Barbecues (How To Sizzle Safely)

Section: Pregnancy

The list of what you shouldn’t eat, drink and do during pregnancy is long enough without adding BBQs to it. And luckily you don’t have to avoid having them *fist pumps*. Providing you follow these simple rules then there’s no reason why you can’t go ahead and indulge in that double cheeseburger you’ve been lusting after…

Wash up

Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly before eating – especially if you’ve touched any raw meat


Prepare properly

Make sure all of the frozen meat is completely thawed out before you start cooking it. This will make sure that when the meat’s cooked, it will heat up enough to kill any harmful bacteria.

Get the BBQ ready

Before the food is cooked, make sure the coals are hot enough. They should be glowing red with a grey surface colour.

Always check your food
Reduce your risk of getting salmonella by making sure all of your food is well-cooked before eating it.

‘The risk of food poisoning can be higher at a BBQ and this is of obvious concern to someone who is pregnant as well,’ says nutritionist Charlotte Stirling-Reed. ‘It is worth being extra careful to check that foods, especially meat and fish, are cooked thoroughly and all the way through.’

Even if you’re partner appears to have chargrilled everything.

Don’t eat any pink meat and make sure all juices run clear before digging in. 

Consider cooking in the (whisper it) kitchen

To stay completely on the safe side, you can cook your food in the oven and put it on the BBQ once it’s cooked to get that delish smoky flavour.

Keep chilled food chilled

Don’t eat any chilled food, like dips and cheese, that have been left out in the sun as there’s a chance they’ll be covered in a fast-growing bacteria called Listeria. The same goes for salad. ‘Check that they have been washed first and also that they are stored properly and allowed to keep cool,’ says Charlotte.

Know which foods to avoid

Get clued up on the foods that aren’t safe during pregnancy before tucking into anything. ‘Avoid eating shark, swordfish, marlin, undercooked meat, eggs, pate and certain soft and blue cheeses,’ says Charlotte. ‘Unpasteurised milk and dairy products also aren’t recommended during pregnancy – so look out for ice creams with it in.’

Stay hydrated

Drink more than you usually would throughout your BBQ to keep your fluid levels topped up. A good rule is to drink whenever you’re thirsty and always have a glass of water nearby. If you feel headachy or lightheaded, head inside for a bit and sip slowly on water until you feel better.

Protect your skin

Remember to apply sunscreen half an hour before your BBQ starts, particularly if it’s a sunny day, to give it time to start working before you head outside. Reapply every two hours and stay out of the sun’s glare when possible to avoid overheating – perfect excuse for you to sit in the shade and chill out while your partner takes control of the barbequing.

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