EPA-FDA Advice about Eating Fish and Shellfish
For Those Who Might Become Pregnant, Are Pregnant, Are Breastfeeding, and for Children
FDA and EPA have issued advice regarding eating fish and shellfish (referred to as fish from here on). This advice is for those who might become pregnant, are pregnant, or are breastfeeding as well as parents and caregivers who are feeding children. It can help people make informed choices about the types of fish that are nutritious and safe to eat.
The advice features a chart that makes it easy to choose dozens of healthy and safe options and includes information about the nutritional value of fish. A set of frequently asked questions and answers provides more information on how to use the chart and additional tips for eating fish.
This advice supports the recommendations of the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025, which reflects current science on nutrition to improve public health.
Choose a variety of fish that are lower in mercury.
While it is important to limit mercury in the diets of those who are pregnant or breastfeeding and children because of its potential effect on developing brains, many types of fish are both nutritious and lower in mercury.
- Eat 2 to 3 servings of fish a week from the “Best Choices” list OR 1 serving from the “Good Choices” list.
- Serve children 2 servings of fish a week from the “Best Choices” list.
- If you eat fish caught by family or friends, check for fish advisories. If there is no advisory, eat only one serving and no other fish that week.*
What is a serving?
As a guide, use the palm of your hand.
|For an adult
1 serving is about:
This chart can help you choose which fish to eat, and how often to eat them, based on their mercury levels.
Resources and Outreach Materials
- Questions and Answers
- Social Media Toolkit
- Downloadable Advice
- Downloadable Chart (English | Spanish)
Supporting Scientific Documents
- Technical Information on Development of Final Updated Advice About Eating Fish
- External Peer Review Report of FDA-EPA’s Technical Information (PDF)
- FDA and EPA’s Response to External Peer Review on the FDA-EPA’s Technical Information (PDF)
* Some fish caught by family and friends, such as larger carp, catfish, trout and perch, are more likely to have fish advisories due to mercury or other contaminants. State advisories will tell you how often you can safely eat those fish.
** There is moderate scientific evidence of a relationship between the eating pattern as a whole and the potential health benefit.