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Confused about deli meats

Forum: 2013 Playroom


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  • 3 Post By HalfDozen
  • 1 Post By Twirlbird
  • 2 Post By MaineBean
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September 19th, 2012, 05:19 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: England
Posts: 81
So everything I'd read on cold meats said cook it and it's fine. The (student) midwife I talked to today at my appointment said that smoked meats like parma ham aren't ok even if you cook them. I can't really see why. Anyone got any idea if she's right or just confused? Thanks!

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September 19th, 2012, 05:52 AM
HalfDozen's Avatar Formerly Number5OnTheWay
Join Date: Jul 2012
Posts: 3,596
I know many will disagree with me on this, but my opinion is that anything in moderation is fine. I am actually not a fan of deli meats in general, but I crave them sometimes when I am pregnant. I also don't heat them unless I am having a grilled sandwich of some kind, or possibly a toasted sub. I know my nurse told me to stay away from ALL deli meats unless I plan to cook them through. I just nodded and went along with it. I haven't heard that smoked deli meats are any different, but I suspect it has less to do with listeria (the concern with regular deli meats) and more to do with the nitrates that they use to preserve smoked meats.

Again, I know I may be in the minority, but I have never stopped eating anything when pregnant. If I was eating deli meats every day, then I might be concerned, but it's probably not even once every 2-3 weeks typically. I just don't feel like I can limit my diet by everything that I'm "not supposed to" eat.
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September 19th, 2012, 05:58 AM
Jeanie915's Avatar Hallie's Mommy
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Kentucky
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^^ I ditto the everything in moderation. I craved Subway with DD and my dr said as long as it wasn't every day.

The reason deli meats are questionable during pregnancy is because most deli meats sit in a cooler through the day and are in and out of the cool air being sliced, handled with multiple hands, etc. That allows time for bacteria to set up in the meat. Subway is a little different than fresh deli meat since it isn't moved around as much and generally isn't as old. And deli meat from the refigerator section and sit a while and generate bacteria.

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September 19th, 2012, 06:17 AM
Twirlbird's Avatar Mia and Henry's Mama
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Most recalls for listeria tainted products are for fruits and veggies, stuff you do not microwave, so I think its kinda silly to get all up in arms over deli meat...
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September 19th, 2012, 07:19 AM
MaineBean's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
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Location: Maine
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I'm in with this (generally minority) crowd- I have no problem eating deli meat in moderation and only heat it if I'm in the mood for something like a grilled cheese and ham sandwich. I do think the smoked stuff is more about the nitrates too- not that I have a clue what a "nitrate" is and why it's bad for me!

But of course, I also enjoy beer and wine in moderation, soft local cheeses, and trusted sushi in moderation- so I'm out there on the "easy going" scale.
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September 19th, 2012, 08:34 AM
Mega Super Mommy
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I had an Italian sub just yesterday, NOT heated and it was so so so good! I'm also in the everything in moderation club.

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September 19th, 2012, 09:44 AM
*Anya*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
Join Date: Jun 2008
Location: Bay Area. CA
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I eat deli meats on occasion, sometimes I heat them sometimes i don't. I make sure to get the nitrite and nitrate free ones, and try to get organic but sometimes that's hard to find. Right now I'm on a ham & cheese croissant kick, but I guess that's cooked ham
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September 19th, 2012, 10:44 AM
Missa_Mae's Avatar First Time Mommy!
Join Date: Jun 2012
Location: U.S.A.
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I am also on the "moderation" kick.

I had a salami sandwich the other day and it was sooo yummy. I probably eat a sandwich every 1-2 weeks.
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September 19th, 2012, 11:12 AM
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: England
Posts: 81
I don't like uncooked deli meats anyway, I'm just confused that smoked things may be bad if you cook them.
The only thing I can find wrong with nitrates/nitrites is that they are possibly carcinogenic, and I can't find anyone quoting evidence that they cross the placental barrier. I found someone in the food business saying that if it says it's nitrate free then it's probably been treated with celery which contains nitrates naturally so it's just "natural" nitrates rather than manmade additives. Another person said it would have to be big quantities like a pound a day for every meal for it to matter. My restricted diet results in large amounts of bacon (not a pound, but a couple of times per day) so I don't really know what to think. Anyway, it's probably a bit late to worry about it now. Should I switch to unsmoked? Would it make any kind of difference?!

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September 19th, 2012, 11:37 AM
*Anya*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Location: Bay Area. CA
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I don't see the harm of smoked meats if they are cooked, never heard that before. As for nitrates/nitrites I'll take the natural stuff over synthetic any day. Aside from I don't believe that they are safe they give me horrible headaches when I'm pregnant.
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September 20th, 2012, 12:24 PM
tsh32's Avatar Mega Super Mommy
Join Date: Apr 2005
Posts: 3,440
I would think just confused! Cooking should clear up any problems.

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