The nitrates are bad, but mostly for *you* when used over the long-term.
The threat to your baby is from listeria monocytogenes. I used to sit on my state's Food Safety Advisory Board and I was *shocked* to learn how often deli meat is recalled due to listeria contamination or fear of contamination. I can't remember the exact figures, but there were quite a few per year. (These were for contamination right out of the plant, not from poor storage or handling.) You don't hear about listera outbreaks in the news too often because healthy adults get over it pretty well, and may not even seek medical care. But it is a grave danger to a fetus, very young children, and adults who are very ill or immuno-compromised.
Subway offers toasting now. I either have them heat the meat or have the sub toasted while I'm pg. (Actually, I usually get a veggie sub and have the worker put on fresh gloves before they make it.) Listeria is a small risk over all, but one that is so easily avoided where deli meat is concerned.
|I don't listen to the whole listeria scare-craze, and I eat and drink plenty of unpasteurised foods, including deli meats if I am so inclined.
I also continue to drink raw milk while pregnant. For me there is a risk/benefit equation with raw milk that doesn't exist for the deli meat. (Since there is no loss of nutrition by heating the already cooked meat.) Plus, I'm *way* more confident about the health of the cows and the safetly practices of the farm I get the milk from than I am about the safetly practices of deli meat processing plants. I've seen the number of recalls, and they are *not* reassuring. Just because you don't know anyone who got lysteria from deli meat doesn't mean no one ever does.
"CDC estimates there are 2,500 cases of Listeria food poisoning each year and 500 deaths." and "Listeria food poisoning is most frequently traced to deli meats, hot dogs, and other meat and poultry products that are labeled "cooked," and "ready-to-eat."