What deli meats to avoid during pregnancy?
This includes precooked and deli meats (such as turkey, chicken, roast beef, ham, prosciutto, and bologna), hot dogs, bacon, dry sausages (such as salami and pepperoni), refrigerated pâtés and meat spreads, smoked meat, and foods that you've cured yourself. (Canned foods are okay.)
Listeria is killed by pasteurization and cooking. Cold cuts are now sprayed with a food additive that helps prevent Listeria before packaging. You don't need to panic if you are pregnant and have been eating deli meats. The probabilities are in your favor that nothing has happened.
- The NHS says that it's safe to eat cold cured meats, such as pepperoni, Parma ham and salami, in pregnancy, as the risk of listeria bacteria is low. So you may want to take a cautious approach and only eat a pizza topped with cured meats if it's hot and cooked through.
- Nutritionist Dr Rana Conway explains, “If you buy cheesecake, custard or creme brulee from a supermarket, it should be fine as it will be made with pasteurised egg." Cheesecake may sometimes be made with ricotta or mascarpone cheese, both of which are safe to eat in pregnancy as long as they are pasteurised.
- All hard cheeses are safe in pregnancy. You can eat hard cheeses, such as cheddar, parmesan and stilton, even if they're made with unpasteurised milk. Hard cheeses don't contain as much water as soft cheeses, so bacteria are less likely to grow in them.
Updated: 2nd October 2019