Sushi anyone?

Being a big amateur of raw fish in the form of sushi, I am looking forward to demystifying the whole "it's not safe to eat sushi during pregnancy".

Rumour? Fact? Paranoia?

I don't have a definite answer yet, but it seems like most American websites I've come across will tend to say sushi constitutes a risk for the expecting mom, not only in terms of the mercury level, but also because of the potential presence of bacteria that could be hazardous.

However, the Canadian government website stating what kinds of food to avoid while pregnant does not talk about raw fish being an issue.

Also, the Quebec Professionnal Order of Gynecologists has made no warning about sushi on their list of foods that should be limited or avoided altogether.

I have seen many references saying that in Asian countries, not only is the raw fish tolerated during pregnancy, it is moreover encouraged as a good source of omega 3 and it's high nutritional value.

The mercury level is one thing, but some fish used in sushi don't have a concerning level of mercury (e.g. salmon) so it's mostly the bacteria argument I would like to verify. I mean, if you know the restaurant has high quality standards and the fish is very fresh, is it still a problem?

I've put it in my list of questions to ask my obgyn when I meet him on Nov 20th.


shannon said...

What a great site you have here. Good luck and all the best in your pregnancy!!

Anonymous said...

Yeah - I see the whole sushi thing as a 'calculated risk'. As you mentioned, in some Asian countries, when you find out that you're pregnant, people come over with a whole bunch of sushi to celebrate. If the restaurant has high standards and you have some once in a while (I've had some 3 times during my pregnancy) - I think the risk is very small. Personally (and I don't have a really good reason for this - it's just a feeling) I would wait until the second trimester to consume a little high quality raw fish - if you choose to.


Cynthia said...

Thanks for passing by Shannon, I visited your blog too ;)

As far as sushi goes, I think we are pretty much on the same page for that... I was actually waiting until my first ob visit before actually having any raw fish, because I want to know what he thinks about it. My appointment is at the end of my first trimester anyways so I'll save myself until then for sure! Better safe than sorry.

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