Salami During Pregnancy - Is It Safe To Eat?

  • Salami and processed meats

What is Salami During Pregnancy

Salami is fermented, air dried and cured sausage. Essentially raw meat that's been processed. It requires only room temperature for storage. The meat used to make salamis are pork, chopped beef, poultry, venison and lamb. Minced fat, wine, wheat, corn starch, salt, herbs, spices and vinegar are also added in it to produce a unique mouthwatering flavor.

Pregnant women are advised not to eat salami, or any other cured meat or fish during pregnancy though they may have a craving for this delectable delicacy. There are several reasons why eating salami in pregnancy is not a good idea. Salami often contain preservatives called nitrates that could be harmful to the fetus. They also could be home to harmful bacteria called Listeria, especially if the salami is home-made. Listeria effects include a disease called Listeriosis that can appear within 12 -30 days of consuming the salami. This disease can cause defects in the unborn, still birth, miscarriage and other problems during pregnancy.

Undercooked salami have also been found to be a source of the toxoplasma infection which is caused by bacteria. This infection will be passed on by the mother to the fetus and could cause the baby to die, be visually impaired or develop a learning disability after birth. Poorly cooked salami can lead to food poisoning as well.Salami is also very high in salt or sodium content which is again harmful for both the expectant mother and the baby. Although delicious, it is a zero nutrition food that contains only lots of fat and cholesterol. This can lead to heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. The high salt content in deli meats can also lead to hypertension and swelling.

While consuming salami from street vendors and carnivals is obviously a strict no, even home made salami poses health risks especially when they undercooked.

Though reheating salami till steaming will help kill bacteria, there is still risks of contamination. And cooking will not remove the nitrates. Hence, it is best to steer clear of salamis during pregnancy.