Is it safe to eat hot dogs and cold cuts while pregnant?

Okay, do me a favour, don’t Google “listeria and pregnancy.” You will be rocking in the corner and you won’t eat.

Here’s the deal: Listeria monocytogenes is everywhere. It’s in decaying vegetation, soil, animal feces, sewage and contaminated food. Cooking kills the bacteria. However, it can sneak into many ready-to-eat foods such as hot dogs and deli meats because contamination may occur after cooking and before packaging.

Now, even though listeria is everywhere, non-pregnant healthy adults are highly resistant to it. The reason pregnant woman are told to avoid potentially contaminated food is because they are about 20 times more likely to get listeriosis than other healthy adults (some say it’s because they have a suppressed immune system). If left untreated, listeriosis can affect your pregnancy and, in rare cases, it can lead to miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth.

Cooking food thoroughly will destroy this pathogen so boil that wiener, Honey! Steamy salami may not be as appealing, so you’ll have to decide whether or not you want to walk on the wild side there.

The symptoms of listeriosis are often flu-like and can include nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and a high fever. They usually appear within two to 30 days, but it can take up to 90 days to get sick after someone has eaten contaminated food. If you think you might have been infected, you can have a blood test and if the results are positive, you will most likely be given a course of antibiotics.

I’m not even going to get into nitrates and sodium here. There’s all kinds of crap in delicious food that none of us should eat. We all know it’s bad but it still tastes good, so whatever. You’re pregnant, not stupid.

Oh, and if you decide to give up baloney but still want to help out on a farm during lambing season, you just whoa nelly. It seems that it’s very easy to pick up listeriosis from newborn lambs. An interesting WTF fact that couldn’t be ignored.

search:
Um, I thought I told you not to search this?! Okay, I searched: listeria pregnancy, cold cuts pregnancy, deli meats pregnancy, luncheon meats pregnancy, listeriosis

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5 Comments

  • In the UK and Europe, cold cuts are not forbidden at all (as the EU has such strict shop hygiene rules listeria is very rare). Guess what? Our listeria rates are no higher than in the USA & Canada, and cases involving pregnancy are absolutely exceptionally rare.

  • "I’m not even going to get into nitrates and sodium here. There’s all kinds of crap in delicious food that none of us should eat. We all know it’s bad but it still tastes good, so whatever. You’re pregnant, not stupid."

    Best. Advice. Ever. You are hilarious and realistic, I like it.

  • This post is great and the end is cracking me up because I actually DO live on a sheep farm and we're about to go into lambing! So, yeah, I think I'll hang inside with my turkey sandwich and skip the lambing this year…. (Seriously who knew? I would never have known this.)

  • Wow, 'artificial grass' you really hit the nail on the head with that point. I'll never thing of cold cuts in the same way again.

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