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Deli Meat

1440 Views 6 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  greeniegreen
Isn't is the nitrates in deli meat that are bad? I shop at Whole Foods and always get meat with no nitrates in them, as well as turkey dogs with no antibiotics and nitrates. I hope those are ok because it is the only protein I can get down.
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The cnm at my ob's office said it was the risk of lysteria that makes deli meat a no no. She did say that I could microwave it for 5 minutes. Shoe leather anyone?
She said that lysteria causes miscarriage or a stillborn baby even if you get it at 38 weeks your baby will be stillborn. <--- Her words, it sounds like a bunch of fear mongering to me. I loved subway when I was preggo with Sophie. I do plan to read some more on it. Thats just the info I have for now.
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Yep, it's listeria bacteria. In normal healthy people it causes a mild, maybe even unnoticeable illness. "Infected pregnant women may experience only a mild, flu-like illness; however, infections during pregnancy can lead to miscarraige or stillbirth, premature delivery, or infection of the newborn." (CDC) There are 2500 serious cases per year in the US, including 500 deaths. About one third of the serious cases are in pregnant women, most of the rest are in immune compromised people.

There is *some* risk of listeria in any unpasteurized soft cheese (like some Brie), cold deli meat and hot dogs, or non-shelf-stable processed meats like smoked salmon and pate. You can also get it from raw meat, raw milk, even contaminated raw vegetables. However, it's my understanding that *most* cases are actually in Mexican immigrants who obtain soft cheeses from their home country that are contaminated.

So. After way too much info
I can tell you that with such a small risk (800 cases in pregnant women in the whole US) but such a large danger to the fetus, my comfort level is such that I might have a deli meat sandwich if nothing else will satisfy, or I might have some Brie for a special occasion, but on a daily basis I'd rather avoid that stuff than not.
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If all you can stomach is deli meat, try sub places that cook the meat such as Firehouse (they steam the meat right before they put it on the sub...& their subs are really good) or Quiznos (lightly toast it- not sure if thats enough). Or you can try making hot sandwiches yourself (just make sure that the meat gets heated all the way through)
I had a nurse tell me that if I wanted deli meat....after you bring it home from the market, microwave it till it's steaming hot and then you can put it back in the fridge and it's good to go....
i am not a huge sandwich meat eater, but i was really craving a ham and cheese sandwich!!!!
In my infectious diseases textbook it says that heating does not kill listeriosis, that it's a common misconception, so I'm totally confused, but Listeriosis is NASTY in pregnant women. Eww.

I personally think that a deli is much more apt to have instances of listeriosis than a place like say Subway. It's just a thought though, but I see them cut meat on the same cutter and not sterilize it inbetween customers, different kinds of meats, and who knows how long it goes without being cleaned during rush times <----- that's where I think it comes from. Though I could be wrong, when I envision places like Subway or Quiznos slicing the meat that they will package I imagine much more quality/safety control, more sterilization, really cold temperatures, etc.

I'm personally avoiding all deli meats, but have no problem eating at Subway (it's one of the few things that has been extremely easy to "stomach" with my horrible morning and all day sickness).
Well, I just found this link from the FDA (though I don't always completely trust them either) that seems to be a little more reassuring about heating:
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