When I was pregnant, I had more aversions than cravings, which made finding a good healthy meal that actually sounded appealing pretty difficult. I’m not normally a big meat eater, but oddly enough found that turkey sandwiches almost always sounded good. So during my pregnancy I ate a lot of turkey, much to some people’s horror. But the myth that gestating women shouldn’t eat deli meat isn’t exactly true; it’s actually just fine when heated. So how long do you heat up lunch meat when pregnant? Here’s what my research found.
According to The New York Times, hot dogs and deli meat carry the risk of being contaminated with listeria after processing, endangering the consumer with the possibility of contracting the disease listeriosis. Because of this risk, the meats should be warmed up until steaming hot. Listeria is a bacteria that can actually grow in the cold air of the fridge, making it different than many other germs. If present, the only way to kill listeria is by cooking and pasteurization.
But hey you’ve never gotten listeriosis before, right? Is it really that big of a risk? It turns out, it is. Pregnant women are a whopping 20 times more likely to get it than other healthy adults. And while the symptoms of Listeria are pretty mild for the mama-to-be, the repercussions can be serious for the baby: Miscarriage, stillbirth, and lifelong health problems are among the possible outcomes for the developing fetus.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gets even more…