Is it safe to eat cured meats during pregnancy?


Pregnancy and cured meat – Some Precautions to be Taken

Are you pregnant? Great! Is your partner pregnant? Congrats and… good luck! And then, after the first doctor appointment, you discover, to your utmost horror, the list of thingsthat could be dangerous for the fetus and you tell yourself something along the lines of “Might as well become vegan”. Wait a minute! Let’s just get the facts straight regarding listeriosis and let’s bust some myths at the same time.

A very uncool little guy…

Listeria monocytogenes, if you wish to be formal, is a pretty rare infection. In healthy adults, listeriosis is usually of no consequences. However, in immunocompromised or pregnant individuals (like you or your partner), the risks are high and the infection can be transmitted to the fetus. In short, this is serious business. The list of forbidden foods in regards to the risks of listeriosis will probably make you want to cry – no cheese, no raw meat or fish, no cured meat and cold ready-to-eat meals, no eggs with a runny yolk (yes, that includes sunny-side ups’), no unpasteurized fruit juices and no sprouted seeds… Does it mean you’ll be eating soda crackers and overcooked steak during the next nine months? Of course not!

… that you can eliminate quite easily

The best way to knock listeriosis out is to cook aliments at a safe temperature. It’s also recommended to thoroughly wash fruit and vegetables to avoid cross contamination. Say, don’t slice your cucumber on the same cutting board as your raw pork loin and you’ll be alrighty.

Ready, set… pig out safely!

You can set up a feast made of pasteurized firm cheeses like cheddar or swiss, dry sausage like the Jack or Lawrence and even Maria, Grace and Henrietta’s meat cartridges. It’s like a belly friendly open bar. (Yours or your significant other’s) Alternatively, find creative ways to broil listeriosis by making a Pizza Veloce. Finally, every time that you sigh because you must both deprive (show some solidarity for your loved one!), lovingly stroke your belly (not this one, the other) and tell yourself it’s for the best.

In conclusion, here’s a foolproof tip to make up for those 40 weeks of deprivation: ask for an admission fee to the hospital or birth center. A dry sausage to see the baby, a cheese platter for a kiss or an assortment of sushi for a cuddle. Everyone will be eager to pay, and that’s going to be one tasty free lunch the proud new parents. After all, diapers are quite expensive…

Sources :

Portail santé mieux-être du gouvernement du Québec, fiche sur la listériose
Naître et grandir, « Grossesse et infections alimentaires : la listériose et la toxoplasmose »
Mieux-vivre avec notre enfant de la grossesse à deux ans, édition 2017