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Can you eat herring when you are pregnant?

  1. If you are pregnant, it is better not to eat salty herring (ie Maatjesharing or Hollandse Nieuwe). Salt herring is actually raw. With raw products, the risk of a food infection increases. The chances that you will catch a dangerous bacteria such as listeria and your baby will suffer from it is not very high. But research conducted in recent years by the Dutch Food and Consumer Product Safety Authority (NVWA) shows that listeria is sometimes found in raw salt herring, also at fishmongers. By not eating raw herring, you completely avoid the risk of listeria. You can heat herring well at home. Potted sour herring, or rollmops, is safe to eat because it has been heated. Canned or pot fish has already been heated and you do not need to heat it again.

Harmful bacteria

  1. Before the herring reaches the stall or in the shop, it undergoes processing. Often the herring is salted. The salt reacts with the enzymes in the fish, changing the structure of the fish and cooking the fish a little. The herring is also frozen. All this ensures that potentially harmful bacteria in the fish, such as listeria, are less active and partly die. But research has shown that brining (salting) and freezing fish does not kill all harmful bacteria, which does happen when heated properly. Herring from the cart or stall (and often in the supermarket) is not heated, so you can never be 100% sure that it is safe.

Smoked fish

  1. If you are pregnant, do not eat smoked fish from the fishmonger or the supermarket. It can contain harmful bacteria, such as listeria. Read more about smoked fish and pregnancy. Predatory fish such as swordfish, shark, pike, zander, eel, mackerel and tuna are also better avoided because of possible heavy metals. This also applies to canned predatory fish.

  1. Fish: once a week We recommend eating fatty fish, such as salmon, once a week. Also during your pregnancy.

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