1st Trimester

I've totally been eating lunch meat!

I didn't know that this was off limits... I am freaking out a little because it's the only meat I've been interested in and I've been eating quite a bit of it. I just ate a giant sandwich piled with turkey, ham...I don't even know. Starting to feel sick again. Comments please!
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Re: I've totally been eating lunch meat!

  • The chances of getting listeria from lunch meat is pretty small.  If you want you can heat it up in the future when I was pregnant with DS I ate deli meat without heating it all the time.
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  • There are plenty of pregnant people in the world who eat deli meat and are perfectly fine. I wouldn't worry about it. I have to confess, some days it is all that I can keep down. The odds of something happening because of a slice of lunch meat are very slim. 
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  • Odds are you're fine :) My MD asked "When was the last time you heard of someone getting sick from lunch meat"? Which was a good observation. On the off chance that something nasty is lurking in your lunch meat, but pop it in the microwave until it steams from now on. 

    My doc wants me to be careful, but also said that VERY VERY few people would have issues eating things like lunch meat and unpasteurized cheese.

     

    ETA: My OB also said that packaged meats are fine, it is just from the deli meat you need to heat, because it is handled so often. 

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  • With my first LO, i ate sandwiches maybe once a month throughout my pregnancy, and LO turned out just fine.  As the PP said, heat it up before you eat for peace of mind, but the likelihood of it impacting your baby is slim. 
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  • You. will. live.

    Trust me, I am in the same boat and was with my first pregnancy too (healthy 2-year-old little girl now)--all I want/ed to eat is/was a Subway turkey sandwich. 

    If it worries you that much just pop it in the microwave for a few seconds, that will kill any bacteria that might be on the meat. HTH!

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  • OMG - your baby will totally be born with 3 heads and a tail.  Wink

     

    (Sorry, couldn't resist.  On a more serious note, it's not a big deal.  Next time, heat it up until it's steaming, if you're worried.  Several ladies on here eat non-heated lunch meat on occasion and have no problems.  Just make sure you're eating quality stuff that's fresh, and you and your baby will be fine).

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  • Listeria (although thought to be common because of the recent Cantelope outbreak) is not really that common at all, and in many cases your immune system can fight it off. They tell you to be careful just because pregnant women are more suseptible to disease, but I think the chances of you really getting sick from it are quite low. I would just avoid it from now on (it is safe to eat if you heat it up in the microwave until it is steaming, however). If you are still concerned call your doctor, they can tell you what to watch out for and help to ease your mind a bit.

    There is so much to avoid -- it can be hard to keep track of everything. Hang in there!

  • During my first pregnancy I went through a phase where all I wanted was turkey and mayo sandwiches. I ate them like it was my job. And I never once heated them up. Sophia was born totally normal and healthy (ok, except for the tail, but we hide it in her diaper...).
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  • Chances are, you'll be fine.

     I read the same thing right after I found out I was pregnant.  When I met with my doctor I asked her how true she felt that statement was and if I should really avoid lunch meat.  Other than heating it, she said to avoid having it in the house for more than a few days and always eat it sliced fresh.  So she said to go to the super market deli and ask them to slice the meat right before packaging.  She also said to avoid sandwich shops that use prepackaged meat, and only order it if it is sliced fresh or heated. If these rules are occassionally broken, it's no the end of the world.

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  • My doctor told me lunch meat was fine the only one to really worry about is salami, she said just to warm it up in the microwave or have it toasted. Thank God because the only thing I could eat for a while was the spicy Italian from subway.
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  • Like others have posted, my OB laughed at my concern.  He was like "only if you're eating lunch meat you bought from the back of someone's car in a shady alley should you be worried!"  If it's fresh, you know where you go it (trusted grocery store, deli, etc.) and only eat it in moderation, odds are you'll be fine.  Beware if it is more than a few days old, smells funky or gets that "slime."  Of course, I still haven't caved and eaten it, but I feel much more reassured knowing that my doctor wasn't too concerned.
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  • My OB said she was less concerned about listeria from lunch meat than the nitrates. I wouldn't be concerned..
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  • I can't thank you enough, ladies! I think I just needed some reassurance...Here's hoping for just one head and no tail!

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  • As a vegetarian, I never thought about lunch meats but, by golly, I miss feta cheese!

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  • I ate lunch meat all the time, never heated the entire time I was pg with DS. You'll be fine.
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  • It's okay. They can remove your LO's tail pretty soon after birth, and no one really has to know. It's a tiny little scar.
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  • image canthardlywait426:
    I ate lunch meat all the time, never heated the entire time I was pg with DS. You'll be fine.
     

     This....

    image GreenFlamingo7:
    It's okay. They can remove your LO's tail pretty soon after birth, and no one really has to know. It's a tiny little scar.

    and this... 

     

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  • image MelissaMiso:
    As a vegetarian, I never thought about lunch meats but, by golly, I miss feta cheese!

    Ugh. No. Eat your darn feta. Unless you are making your own in your backyard, anything you buy in the store or at a restaurant is going to be made from pasteurized milk. Cheese made from unpasteurized milk can only be sold in the US if it has been aged (60 days, I think). Feta is not a cheese that is aged.

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  • I was in the ER and they knew I was pregnant. They offered me Lortab and a giant (and I mean giant) turkey sandwich. I ate the sandwich happily and passed on the Lortab (the tylenol worked just fine thanks)

    Unless its immediately dangerous... I wouldnt worry about it. There has been a few times where Ive eaten a little something w/ lunch meat w/o realizing it. Just avoid it from here on out!

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  • image Allycat11:

    Chances are, you'll be fine.

     I read the same thing right after I found out I was pregnant.  When I met with my doctor I asked her how true she felt that statement was and if I should really avoid lunch meat.  Other than heating it, she said to avoid having it in the house for more than a few days and always eat it sliced fresh.  So she said to go to the super market deli and ask them to slice the meat right before packaging.  She also said to avoid sandwich shops that use prepackaged meat, and only order it if it is sliced fresh or heated. If these rules are occassionally broken, it's no the end of the world.

    I was actually told the exact opposite; that eating prepackaged is MUCH safer than the deli.  He pointed out that packaged meats have a huge amount of regulations and quality controls to go through, but a lot of delis keep huge chunks of meat out in cases for long periods of time [I know that my favorite ham at Whole Foods often takes al week to be used up.]  Add in that the machines that slice it are often shared with salami and uncooked meats and cheeses, and only cleaned a couple times a day, he felt that it was much riskier than the packaged grocery store meat or Subway. 

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  • image mrs incognito:

    image MelissaMiso:
    As a vegetarian, I never thought about lunch meats but, by golly, I miss feta cheese!

    Ugh. No. Eat your darn feta. Unless you are making your own in your backyard, anything you buy in the store or at a restaurant is going to be made from pasteurized milk. Cheese made from unpasteurized milk can only be sold in the US if it has been aged (60 days, I think). Feta is not a cheese that is aged.

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  • image LadyTyler:

     Add in that the machines that slice it are often shared with salami and uncooked meats and cheeses,

    huh? They're not slicing raw meat in the deli. And as for the cheeses, nothing that's being sliced in the deli is inherently bad for pregnant women. 

    Once again, I just wish every doctor could be in agreement. My doctor isn't concerned about listeria, only nitrates.

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  • image mrs incognito:
    image LadyTyler:

     Add in that the machines that slice it are often shared with salami and uncooked meats and cheeses,

    huh? They're not slicing raw meat in the deli. And as for the cheeses, nothing that's being sliced in the deli is inherently bad for pregnant women. 

    Once again, I just wish every doctor could be in agreement. My doctor isn't concerned about listeria, only nitrates.

    Salami, pepperoni, prosciutto, and similar meats are cured, not cooked, like lox, my doctor was very against eating them.  And it wasn't that any of cheese itself is bad, its just that with so many things sitting out and the machine being shared, if anything gets off, it can spread to what you are purchasing and it just increases the risk as opposed to purchasing a package with just your meat in it.

    & I agree that all the different advice is frustrating.  Its hard navigating all these things that carry statistically tiny but dangerous risks.  I think it would be a lot more helpful to be told that listeria is rare but dangerous and here are some things you can do to minimize your risk, but its YOUR choice, instead of the "follow exactly whatever your doctor personally believes" when the doctor next door might be giving completely different advice!

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