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Why can't we eat deli meats?


Forum: Pregnancy and Motherhood After Loss

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  #1  
April 6th, 2011, 04:59 PM
missy123's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I was so sick so I sent the boys down to the deli to get sandwiches for dinner. I forgot that we aren't supposed to eat Deli meats and I ate half of the ham sub. I am taking the meat off the other half so that should be ok.

But I forgot - why aren't we supposed to eat deli meat?
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  #2  
April 6th, 2011, 05:06 PM
JessP's Avatar Lovin life and family
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There is a bacteria on there that could be harmful. I have had a couple deli sandwiches and I had them when pregnant with my other kids. I think you will be fine hun . Many ladies don't follow that rule and are fine. Its a small chance for the bacteria. I will see if I can find a better reason for you.

Listeria and Pregnancy : American Pregnancy Association
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  #3  
April 6th, 2011, 05:07 PM
mom2moose
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You can eat deli meats as long as you heat them all the way through first. The fear is Listeria, which if you get while pregnant, you will most likely m/c.

Having said that, I (and I know quite a few in my DDC) eat them. I just make sure to get the meat at "safe" places, like Subway, and only do it occasionally. I think it's kind of a personal choice.
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  #4  
April 6th, 2011, 05:26 PM
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I have a HUGE pet peeve about this pregnancy "don't". When I did the research (and I used to do food safety work when I was an environmental science consultant), I was totally incensed at the lack of evidence for this "avoid lunch meat" pronouncement. It totally freaks out all these pregnant women, and causes them to avoid healthy lean meats, to no purpose.

Listeria is bad for preggo ladies to get, yes it can kill your baby and you are more likely to get it than someone who isn't pregnant. But here's what you need to know.

1. IT IS EXTREMELY RARE. The incidence rate is something like 1 in 10,000-100,000 pregnancies. That was before the "avoid lunch meat" rule came out.

2. Listeria monocytogenes (the bacteria in question) is ubiquitous in nature. It does not survive heating to steaming temperature, but it does survive refrigeration and cold storage. ANY FOOD that is served room temp or below can give you Listeria.

3. It is very hard to figure out which foods make people sick from Listeria, because it has an incubation period of a few weeks before symptoms appear. The only food with a real connection to anyone actually getting sick from Listeria (i.e. there is good hard data) is unpasteurized soft cheese. The lunch meat connection is based purely on theory, there is no evidence that people who eat more lunch meat are more likely to get Listeriosis, and it HAS been studied.

SO: My advice!!!!!
Don't worry about lunch meat. Just follow the normal precautions you normally would in order to avoid getting food sickness. The only extra thing you might consider is avoiding unpasteurized soft cheese, although if you are not a foodie who shops in specialty stores (or a Latina who likes her queso fresco), you may never see such stuff anyway at least in the U.S.!
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  #5  
April 6th, 2011, 06:26 PM
ItsFinallyOct's Avatar Super Mommy
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I never heard about no deli meats! I haven't eaten any, but that seems very odd!
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  #6  
April 6th, 2011, 06:31 PM
mom2moose
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Shen - I've said this before, but it really is a shock your head doesn't just explode from all the knowledge rattling around in there!! LOL
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  #7  
April 6th, 2011, 06:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shen7 View Post
The only extra thing you might consider is avoiding unpasteurized soft cheese, although if you are not a foodie who shops in specialty stores (or a Latina who likes her queso fresco), you may never see such stuff anyway at least in the U.S.!
I've been avoiding ordering salads, etc., with feta, gorgonzola, or blue cheese at restaurants because of the risk. I have no idea if these places are using unpasteurized cheeses, and I'm not about to trust the waiter . Too bad, too, because I LOVE feta and gorgonzola.

So, isn't queso that you get with chips at Mexican restaurants also a risk? I know it's heated, but sometimes I wonder how long that stuff has been sitting out. Or is it only fresh queso that hasn't been heated?
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  #8  
April 7th, 2011, 08:19 AM
missy123's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Thank you all so much. I was concerned. The deli downstairs is a "mom and pop" place where everyone knows everyone and they have never had any health violations and the place is always super clean. I will stick to cooked food from there from now on just to be on the safe side.
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Pregnancy Loss April 2009, September 2010
CP 10/2008, 1/3/11 {missing my babies every single day}Mommy to 4 Children - 3 boys ages 22, 21 and 18 & baby Scarlett
After 2.5 years TTC with 4 losses our Family was given the gift of Miss Scarlett
.
Do not ever give up hope...


Miss Scarlett... Our miracle girl still brings happy tears to my eyes.



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  #9  
April 7th, 2011, 08:34 AM
Shadeauxe's Avatar It's me
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyKitty View Post
I've been avoiding ordering salads, etc., with feta, gorgonzola, or blue cheese at restaurants because of the risk. I have no idea if these places are using unpasteurized cheeses, and I'm not about to trust the waiter . Too bad, too, because I LOVE feta and gorgonzola.

So, isn't queso that you get with chips at Mexican restaurants also a risk? I know it's heated, but sometimes I wonder how long that stuff has been sitting out. Or is it only fresh queso that hasn't been heated?
Cheese was the thing I hated to give up the most. In regards to the modly cheeses (gorgonzola and bleu cheese), these are never made with pasteurized milk, so they are a risk no matter where you buy them. I read somewhere that heating them for some period of time kills the bacteria, but that doesn't help on salads. So, to get my stinky cheese fix, I would put the gorgonzola on homemade pizza (with spinach). Five minutes at 500 degrees was well over the time needed to kill everything.

Feta I think can be made either with raw milk or pasteurized milk, so it's hit or miss unless you buy the cheese yourself. I will try to find the articles I read.
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  #10  
April 7th, 2011, 09:06 AM
kellyanne's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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I'm glad you posted that Shen. I did all of that same research after finding out about the lunch meat thing halfway through my pregnancy with Juliana and freaking out. The chances of actually getting it are very very small. The same is true with toxoplasmosis, which is why they say not to clean cat boxes. I still didn't clean the cat box because I had an excuse for DH to do it . I wanted to add that another paradox of this is that your chances of getting listeria go up as you get further along (when, if you got it, your baby would have a better chance). When you are early in pregnancy your immune system is still pretty strong....which is why non-pregnant people don't have to worry about it.
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  #11  
April 7th, 2011, 10:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SillyKitty View Post
So, isn't queso that you get with chips at Mexican restaurants also a risk? I know it's heated, but sometimes I wonder how long that stuff has been sitting out. Or is it only fresh queso that hasn't been heated?
"Queso" is Spanish for "cheese". The "queso" that you get at Tex-Mex restaurants is actually Velveeta and Rotel canned tomatoes with jalapenos, microwaved together (now you can make it yourself ). There is absolutely no way you will get Listeria from such queso, it doesn't matter how long it sits out. I don't think anything living could grow in that stuff

Queso fresco or queso blanco is basically Mexican farmer cheese. It is a soft white crumbly sweet cheese that you get on some tacos or as a garnish at authentic-type Mexican places. Hispanic people often make their own queso fresco at home. The demographic group with the highest incidence of Listeriosis is Hispanics, and it is believed that this is due to the homemade queso fresco.
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