Pregnancy: can I eat cold cuts when I’m pregnant?

With: Pauline Beriot, nutritionist

A small slice of sausage here, a slice of chorizo ​​there? Charcuterie has been part of French culture for hundreds of years and many French would find it hard to live without it! Nevertheless, pregnant women should take certain Precautions to the don’t get sick and disturb them growth from infant. The expectant mother must remain vigilant about what she consumes, both for her health and that of the fetus. In fact, it’s possible to develop disease if we’re not careful about what we eat.

What is cured meats?

Charcuterie includes all food preparations, mainly based on raw or cooked pork. They are often salted, which helps preserve the food. There are three main types of products: salted meat (products without cooking such as ham, sausage, chorizo), cooked products (especially boiled ham, pies, rillettes, black puddings or andouilles) and the other products, such as boiled sausages. “ In general, cured meats are made from pork. The manufacturing technique consists of salting and subsequent smoking. So it’s not really cooking. Like the smoking technique, salt is a preservative “, explains Pauline Beriot, nutritionist.

Can a pregnant woman eat sausages?

In individual cases: sausage, chorizo, prosciutto, pâté…

When feeding a woman who is expecting a baby, so-called “raw” meat should be avoided as a precaution. Sausage, chorizo, prosciutto or even pâté ” is strongly discouraged because there is a risk of contamination by a bacterium called Listeria”, Alert the specialist. The consumption of individual products that can be found on the market or in grocery stores is therefore contraindicated. We also avoid carpaccio and steak tartare, both of which are also raw. If you are pregnant, favor a healthy diet based on starchy foods, proteins, vegetables, cooked fish (maximum twice a week)… And be careful not to exceed the expiry date!

Can we eat boiled ham and mortadella?

raw sausages is therefore not prohibitedmost it is strongly discouraged due to the presence of Listeria and Toxoplasma gondii bacteria that can develop in the organism of the pregnant woman and the baby. These bacteria cause listeriosis or toxoplasmosis.

There may be some exceptions for cooked meats, but expectant mothers still need to take precautions. ” It is better to give preference to white ham with a vacuum preservation method to avoid sliced ​​products. You can also eat sausages as long as they are cooked at more than 70 °C. says Pauline Beriot. Despite everything, foods such as white ham, which is called “cooked”, or mortadella should be consumed in moderation. Sausage products are therefore not a preferred form of nutrition during pregnancy.

When Should You Stop Eating It When Pregnant?

In order not to take any risks, neither for yourself nor for the baby, it is better to refrain from eating cold cuts. as soon as we find out we are pregnant.

Why is it forbidden to eat cured meats during pregnancy?

The risks associated with listeriosis

Listeriosis is a serious foodborne infection. It can lead to sepsis, or infection of the central nervous system. ” Listeria causes a disease called listeriosis. This can cause spontaneous abortions, of death in the womb or some early deliveries », with guard Pauline Beriot.In France, the disease remains rare (incidence is 5 to 6 cases per million inhabitants), but it can be fatal. According to the Ministry of Health and Solidarity “ Pregnant women, newborns, people with weakened immune systems and the elderly are most at risk of contracting Listeria. “In order not to catch this bacterium, it is better to ” Avoid eating cooked or raw meat products (cooked or raw ham, jelly products, foie gras, pies, rillettes, etc.) ‘ says the government.

How to prepare food to avoid listeriosis?

  • Wash hands before, during and after handling all types of food.
  • Clean kitchen utensils and countertops that have come into contact with uncooked food.
  • Do not use the same utensils (knives, spoons, plates, etc.) for raw and cooked food.
  • Prefer packaged products over products bought by the tub.
  • Thoroughly cook raw foods of animal origin (especially raw cold cuts such as diced bacon)
  • Heat food eaten warm to an internal temperature of over +70°.

The risks associated with toxoplasmosis

Toxoplasmosis (Toxoplasma gondii) is a parasitic infection caused by Consumption of undercooked contaminated meat, from Raw vegetablesbadly washed or even from dirty water. Usually it is asymptomatic. If you contract toxoplasmosis while pregnant, it could harm the fetus. Depending on the stage of pregnancy, the risks of contamination and lesions can be greater or lesser. During the first trimester, although the infection is less common, the consequences can be much more serious than in the second or third trimester of pregnancy when the baby is already more resilient. Toxoplasmosis can cause birth defects in the fetus, more commonly in the eyes than in the brain. In some very rare cases it can cause the disease miscarriages.

« In the case of toxoplasmosis, we usually carry out a serology at the beginning of the pregnancy or if you wish to become pregnant. It’s a blood test that checks whether the woman has already come into contact with the bacteria. If the serology is negative, the woman must take food and hygiene precautions when preparing meals, especially washing raw anything she is going to eat, since the bacteria reside in the soil. On the other hand, if the woman has already had contact with the bacteria and is positive for toxoplasmosis, she is protected says Pauline Beriot. Warning : even immune to toxoplasmosisSausage products are always discouraged because of the ever-present risk of listeriosis.

In case of infection at birth, the child contaminated with toxoplasmosis is monitored with complete examinations, especially at the ophthalmological level. Regular follow-up care is then required to check the course of the disease. In fact, controls don’t stop at childhood, they can extend into adulthood.

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