Can you eat caviar when pregnant? [Explained]

Verified by Edna Skopljak MD
Verified by Edna Skopljak MD

Edna Skopljak is a medical doctor and an editor at BJBMS medical journal. She graduated from the University of Sarajevo School of Science and Technology.

Are you pregnant? Or perhaps someone close to you is?

If the answer is yes, you might be wondering whether a pregnant woman can consume a particular food, like caviar.

In this article, we will discuss whether a pregnant woman can eat caviar or not.

Can you eat caviar when pregnant?

Yes, caviar is safe to eat during pregnancy if it is pasteurized and stored at the right temperature.

However, it would be best if you avoided unpasteurized caviar due to the possibility of infection with listeria and other pathogens.

Here’s a quick explanation about pasteurized caviar. It is a roe that has been heat-processed after being combined with some salt. Caviar has a firmer feel and a longer shelf life after being pasteurized.

Usually, raw food is made safe through pasteurization. It is done by heating food to temperatures high enough to kill most pathogens, including listeria. But caviar still needs to be kept in the refrigerator even when pasteurized.

Can you eat fish eggs when pregnant?

Fish eggs are safe to eat while pregnant if they’re pasteurized and stored at the right refrigeration temperature.

Since eating fish eggs raw is customary, this is how they are frequently presented.

However, remember that raw fish eggs may more likely become contaminated with bacteria.

As a result, pregnant women should avoid eating raw or unpasteurized fish eggs since they may be contaminated with listeria and other pathogens.

In-depth research on fish eggs has been done in Scandinavia and Japan, focusing on how safe they are when consumed raw, cooked, pasteurized, salted, and stored.

According to a 2005 Japanese study, 10 out of 208 samples of raw, minced tuna and fish eggs from retail outlets tested positive for listeria.

Another similar study examined a range of foods, including raw fish roe, for the presence of listeria in Japan; it was discovered in 5.7% of the 123 samples of salmon roe and 9.1% of the 164 samples of cod roe.

Therefore, pregnant women should refrain from consuming raw fish eggs due to the increased listeria risk.

Is black caviar pasteurized?

No, we can only refer to it as being pasteurized when it has gone through the pasteurization process. Depending on how the black caviar is packaged, you can also determine whether it has been pasteurized.

How can you tell if caviar is pasteurized?

It’s uncommon to find pasteurized black caviar marked with that label. The way it is packed, however, usually indicates whether it has been pasteurized or not. For example, the caviar is likely pasteurized if packaged in vacuum-sealed containers.

Safe foods to consume during pregnancy [5 picks]

Consume legumes

Pregnant women should add legumes to their diet for the many benefits they provide. Legumes are a good source of protein, iron, and fiber, and can help keep blood sugar levels in check.

They are also high in folic acid, essential for developing your baby’s neural tube.

Other varieties of legumes are also high in zinc and potassium, which help to support a healthy pregnancy.

To ultimately benefit from legumes, it is better to consume around 1 cup per day or about 3/4 cup if you consume other protein-rich foods such as meat or poultry.

Consume fish liver oil

Fish liver oil is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential for developing your baby’s brain and nervous system. Omega-3 fatty acids can also help to reduce the risk of preterm labor and birth.

You should consume around 200 milligrams of omega-3 fatty acids per day during pregnancy. You can either take two capsules of fish liver oil or include oily fish in your meal, such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines.

Consume dairy products

Consuming calcium-rich dairy products during pregnancy has various benefits for both the mother and child. These benefits include reducing the risk of hypertension, preeclampsia, and obesity.

Pregnant women should aim to consume three dairy servings each day. Examples of one serving include 1 cup of milk, 1 cup of yogurt, or 1.5 ounces of cheese.

Consume leafy greens

Vitamins A, C, and K are all important nutrients that can be found in leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and Swiss chard. They are also high in folic acid, which is a nutrient that helps to prevent birth defects of the brain and spine.

Vitamin A is necessary for developing your baby’s eyes and immune system, while vitamin C can help the body heal cuts and wounds and also aids in absorbing iron. Vitamin K is essential for blood clotting and bone development.

It is generally recommended to consume 2-3 cups of leafy greens per day during pregnancy. This could include 1 cup of cooked spinach, 1/2 cup of kale, or 1/2 cup of Swiss chard.

Eat salmon

Salmon is a great option for pregnant women as it is rich in DHA, which is beneficial for the development of a baby’s brain and eyes. Additionally, salmon is a good source of protein and vitamin D.

It is packed with other essential nutrients for a healthy pregnancy.

When choosing salmon, it is best to opt for wild-caught salmon, as this variety has a lower risk of contamination.

Pregnant women should aim to consume around 2-3 servings of fatty fish per week, which should include about 8 ounces of cooked salmon.


To sum up, pregnant women should only consume caviar after being pasteurized and refrigerated. To reduce the risk of listeria and other bacterial contamination, avoiding eating raw or unpasteurized fish eggs and caviar is preferable. Make sure to keep these things in mind to avoid any complications.