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Deli meat is a popular type of processed meat that has been cured, smoked, or salted. It is often served cold in sandwiches, salads, and other dishes. While deli meat can be a convenient and tasty meal option, pregnant women may be concerned about the potential risks associated with consuming it. In this blog post, we’ll explore what happens if you eat deli meat while pregnant, and offer some tips for making sure you’re making the best decisions for you and your baby.
Risks of Eating Deli Meat While Pregnant
Deli meat is a common source of listeria, a type of bacteria that can cause a serious infection in pregnant women called listeriosis. This infection can lead to miscarriage, stillbirth, or other serious health complications for the baby. It is important to note that deli meat is not the only source of listeria. Other foods that can contain listeria include unpasteurized milk and soft cheeses, raw sprouts, and certain types of seafood.
What to Look for When Buying Deli Meat?
When buying deli meat, make sure to look for the “sell-by” date on the package. This date indicates the time frame in which the deli meat is safe to eat. If the date has passed, it is best to avoid the deli meat, as it may be contaminated with listeria. Additionally, make sure to check the temperature of the deli meat. It should be cold to the touch and should not have any visible signs of spoilage.
Cooking Deli Meat
If you do choose to eat deli meat while pregnant, it is important to cook it thoroughly. Deli meat that has been cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit is safe to eat. Additionally, make sure to avoid cross-contamination. This means never using the same cutting board or knife for raw meat and cooked meat, and washing your hands, utensils, and surfaces thoroughly after handling raw meat.
Storing Deli Meat
It is important to store deli meat in the refrigerator and to use it within 3-4 days. If the deli meat is frozen, it can be stored for up to two months. When reheating deli meat, make sure to heat it to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Avoiding Deli Meat
If you are pregnant and concerned about the potential risks associated with consuming deli meat, there are other options available. Plant-based proteins, such as beans and tofu, are a great alternative to deli meat. Additionally, you can also opt for fresh, lean cuts of meat that have been cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.
Eating deli meat while pregnant can be risky, as it can be a source of listeria, a type of bacteria that can cause serious health complications for the baby. When buying deli meat, make sure to check the “sell-by” date, and cook it thoroughly to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Additionally, make sure to store deli meat in the refrigerator and use it within 3-4 days. If you are concerned about the potential risks associated with deli meat, there are other options available, such as plant-based proteins and fresh, lean cuts of meat.