Who doesn’t like sausage? Almost no one can resist the ubiquity and spicy taste of this comfort food. Just the thought of hot and delicious sausage would make you drool.
Pregnancy is a state in a women’s life that they have weird and strange cravings. Though most pregnant women indulge in their cravings from time to time, proper diet should still be considered for her and her baby’s health. Then is it safe for you to eat sausage while pregnant? Does it have a negative effect on you and your baby?
This article will show you the facts.
Is It Safe to Eat Sausage When Pregnant?
If you’re the type of person who can’t live without sausage, here’s some good news for you.
It is entirely safe to eat sausage during your pregnancy. You just have to make sure though that it is completely cooked and eat it while it’s still hot.
How do you cook the sausage properly?
Those that are made of pork, ground beef, veal or lamb should be cooked to 160 °F while those that are made of chicken and ground turkey should be cooked at 165 °F. An indication that it is completely cooked is when you don’t see any pink left inside and that all of the juices have dried up.
Sausages have different varieties – with ready to eat or uncooked forms. If you are always on the go, you can dig your hands on dry, semi-dry or cooked sausages as they are ready-to-eat. Smoked and fresh sausages, on the other hand, are uncooked. Below we will talk about whether pregnant women can eat them or not in detail.
Fresh Sausages: They are made of finely chopped particles of meat and are usually seasoned and cured. It comes in various varieties such as fresh beef sausages, fresh pork sausages, whole hog sausages, breakfast sausages and Italian sausage products. Fresh sausage is safe to eat when pregnant as long as you refrigerate it properly and cook it thoroughly.
Smoked and/or Cooked Sausages: They are made of ground or chopped meat and are usually smoked or cooked and well-seasoned. Sausages under this variety include hot dogs, liverwurst, cooked bratwurst, bologna, cooked Thuringer, salami and braunschweiger. You should thoroughly cook them and consume them hot.
Dry and Semi-dry Sausages: They are made of chopped or ground meat and cured with sodium nitrate and salt. They are put in casings, fermented and then dried. Lebanon bologna, pepperoni and summer sausage belong to this category. Though pathogenic bacteria are killed during the fermentation process, it is advisable for pregnant women to avoid these types of sausages as there are still few bacteria that can survive the dry fermentation process.
You should take all necessary precautions especially when you are pregnant. You should always consult with your doctor first before you indulge in your cravings for sausages.
Tips to Eat Sausage When Pregnant
Pregnancy cravings can sometimes be weird and irrational. You have to give in to those cravings or else you feel like you’re going crazy. This can result to a feeling of guilt afterwards, especially if the food is unhealthy and high in fats and calories. If you want to give in to your cravings of sausage while pregnant but do not want to feel the guilt afterwards, follow these tips:
Don’t let your sausage get cold. Eat it while it’s still piping hot. Ask the sausage vendor to re-heat it for you if you’re eating it outside.
Make sure that they are completely cooked.
Left-over sausages should be refrigerated and can only be eaten within two days from refrigeration. Don’t eat it until you have re-heated it and served steaming hot.
Precooked sausages should still be re-heated before they can be eaten.
Avoid food contamination by keeping cooked food away from raw meat. Don’t let the juices from raw meat drip into other foods.
Always check the label.
Choose ones that are low in spices and sodium.
However, Stay Away from Sausage If You Are Concerned About…
Fat and Sodium Intake
Though you need a certain amount of fat in your diet to support the growth and development of the baby in your tummy, too much fat is a big no-no. One serving of 100-gram sausage contains about 27.3 grams of fat, 9.7 grams of which is saturated. Same serving also includes 1,207 milligrams of sodium. Too much fat and sodium can contribute to weight gain, so talk to your doctor first before eating sausage when pregnant.
Risk of Listeria
Listeria is a type of bacteria that can be found in soil and water and can live in undercooked sausages. They are dangerous for pregnant women as they can cause premature delivery, miscarriage and stillbirth. Make sure that you cook your sausage to an internal temperature of 160 to 170 degrees F to kill the bacteria.
More Bacteria That Can be Found in Sausages
Aside from listeria, uncooked sausages can harbor other bacteria such as salmonella which can cause nausea, stomach pain, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, fever and muscle aches. It can also harbor a parasite that can cause toxoplasmosis, a type of disease that can cause premature delivery, low birth weight, mental developmental problems, jaundice and convulsions.
Have Suffered from Heartburn
Heartburn is one of the top reasons why many pregnant women are having difficulty sleeping. Hot sausages contain too many spices that can cause heartburn. If you can’t let go of sausages, you should eat them with a glass of milk.
Because of the risk of bacteria and other parasites that can live in uncooked meat, eating sausage when pregnant should be taken with too much precaution. If you really have to give in to your cravings, make sure that they are completely cooked and served steaming hot. Don't put yourself or your baby’s health at risk just because of some cravings.