Nurturing life Your reference in perinatal nutrition, from pregnancy to childhood

What deli meats are acceptable during pregnancy?

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By : Nurturing Life's Nutrition Team | Montreal Diet Dispensary

The deli meats that are safe are those that have been dried and salted, such as pepperoni and salami.

We should avoid consuming as sold products that have not been dried, such as bologna, wieners (hot dog), roast beef and sliced turkey breast. However, they may be safe to eat if they are sufficiently heated, i.e. reaching 74⁰C (165⁰F), a temperature that destroys any microorganism present.

Canned spreads are safe since they have been heated to a high temperature at the time of canning. On the other hand, refrigerated pâtés and meat spreads are not recommended.

Deli meats are processed meats that are either raw and fermented or cooked. They can be salted, smoked or dried. Originally, sausages were developed to store meat without refrigeration. They generally contain binding agents such as starch or eggs and lots of preservatives such as salt and nitrite, the latter being carcinogenic. It is important to remember that it is always best to choose unprocessed meats rather than deli. In this article, we consider all types of meats and cold cuts, such as roast beef and turkey breast, which are frequently consumed.

Some meats are more likely to be harmful due to their method of manufacture and storage. Particular attention should be paid to the Listeria monocytogenes (Listeria), a microorganism causing food poisoning, which continues to grow at low temperatures. More importantly, it can cross the placenta and cause infections in the uterus which could cause miscarriage or meningitis in the fetus. It is a dangerous bacteria that creates no detectable change on the food, therefore great precaution must be taken.



The Public Health Agency of Canada has contributed financially to the production of Nurturing Life.

The views expressed herein do not necessarily represent the official views of the Public Health Agency of Canada.