Is It Safe To Eat Deli Meats During Pregnancy?

Is It Safe To Eat Deli Meats During Pregnancy

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Do you wish for your cravings to be satisfied? Do you feel like savoring some delicious and scrumptious fried chicken? Now that you are pregnant, there are a few do’s and don’ts that should be followed. A very important restriction that comes into place during pregnancy is what to eat and avoid.

While pregnancy is a time filled with cravings for food, there are certain foods that are safe to be avoided, no matter how strong the craving. One such food that should be off your eat list is deli meat.

What Is Deli Meat?

The term deli meat refers to the type of meat that has been cooked and sliced for light dining. These are generally the meats you find in sandwiches, cold cuts or plain sliced meats. Deli meats are known as processed meats, whole cuts and sectioned or formed meats.

Deli meats are one of the most commonly found meats in most places, including super markets, cold storage and your local sandwich place. However, it is important you stay away from having any deli

meat as soon as you know you are pregnant.

The following food items should be avoided as part of deli meat:

  • Hot dogs
  • Salami
  • Turkey
  • Sausages
  • Bologna
  • Cured meat
  • Meat loaves

[ Read: Fast Food During Pregnancy ]

How Does Eating Deli Meat During Pregnancy Affect You And Your Baby?

One of the most negative impacts of having deli meat during pregnancy is that it can make you contract a form of food poisoning known as listeriosis. During pregnancy, you run a risk of contracting this infection 20 times more than ordinary.

Listeria is a type of bacteria that grows in room or refrigerated temperature. Deli meats are stored for long hours in display areas in the stores or food joints, making them susceptible to the bacteria growth. It is true that not all women who eat deli meat during pregnancy get affected by the bacteria. However, the chances of catching this infection are very high, especially during pregnancy.

  • Listeria can be transmitted in the birth canal. This can be life threatening for the baby.
  • It can lead to miscarriage, premature birth or even still birth.
  • It can also lead to low birth weight in the baby or other life threatening infection like bacteria in the blood or meningitis.
  • The contamination could be due to a number of reasons, but the most common reason is that the bacteria is already present in the meat.
  • It can also affect the nervous system of the mother. This results in stiff neck, convulsions and disorientation.

The first and last trimester are considered especially important, where you need to be extra careful about your health. By the third trimester, your immune system is not so strong. This puts you at a greater risk of contracting listeriosis.

[ Read: Bacterial Infection During Pregnancy ]

Things to Remember While Consuming Deli Meats During Pregnancy:

While it is completely not recommended eating deli meat while pregnant, there could be situations where you do end up having them. If you are unable to avoid deli meats, here are a few things you should keep in mind:

  • Ensure that the deli meat is absolutely hot when you are eating it.
  • Even if it is a cold cut, you need to heat and eat before it gets cold again.
  • Have a lot of Vitamin C rich foods. This will help to prevent the nitrates from converting into carcinogens.
  • Ensure your hands are clean and the utensils used are also clean.
  • Always buy your meats and food from very good and hygienic places.
  • Avoid road side food joints of carts as they may not be very hygienic.
  • Always check the packaging date and read the best before label carefully before purchasing the deli meat.

[ Read: Seafood During Pregnancy ]

You may be tempted to go for deli meats especially if it has been a regular part of your diet earlier. But it is best to give it a miss for now. Instead, you could always try and have a healthier version of meat by grilling or cooking it at home.

Moms did you have any special craving for deli meats during pregnancy and how did you avoid it? Do share your tips with other moms here.

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