Can I Eat Hot Dogs While Pregnant? Is It Safe Or Risky?

Hot dogs and their variants, such as brats, bratwursts, bockwursts, or frankfurters, are popular among pregnant women.

It’s not always obvious whether or not you can eat a hot dog during pregnancy. This depends on how the hot dog was cooked and at what temperature. In this article, I have tried to provide some clarification on how to safely eat hotdogs during pregnancy.

Hot dogs can be eaten by pregnant women if they are cooked to a temperature of 165f/75c. They should also be served hot. To eliminate listeria, grilling or microwaving hot dogs is a good way to cook them. Uncooked or lukewarm hot dogs should not be consumed during pregnancy.

Hot dogs and other similar products raise many questions, including whether you should consume nitrate-free versions, those made from all beef, or those in cans, jars, or tins. Below, I have tried to address each of these so that you can make an informed decision about what to eat during pregnancy.

What kind of hot dogs are safe to eat during pregnancy?

Because they are made of processed meats, hot dogs require caution. Hot dogs can contain listeria or be contaminated by it after manufacturing. They must be thoroughly cooked to kill Listeria Monocytogenes the harmful bacteria which cause listeriosis.

Can I Eat Hot Dogs While Pregnant? Is It Safe Or Risky?

Listeria is a rare but serious foodborne disease that can lead to miscarriage and other pregnancy-related problems.

Hot dogs should be heated up to 165F/75c.

If you are preparing the hot dogs yourself, a meat temperature thermometer can be used. Alternatively, if you are eating them at a barbecue or elsewhere, they should not only be warm but steaming hot.

Cooking hot dogs from the freezer, especially on the grill or barbecue, requires extra caution. They may be cooked, but the meat is still undercooked. To be sure, you can only rely on a meat temperature gauge.

What kinds of hot dogs are unsafe for pregnant women?

Examples of hot dogs which are unsafe to consume during pregnancy include:

  • Raw, right out of the pouch, jar or packet. Cook them until they are piping hot.
  • You can get one from a street vendor or hot dog stand. Included are the hot dogs you see rolled around on a plate or in warm water until they’re put in the bun.
  • After being cooked on a BBQ, or at a party, the hot dogs are removed from the grill or barbeque and then plated.
  • Hot dogs that are cooked before and then mixed with other ingredients (e.g. chopped in a Salad
  • If you have improperly stored hot dogs, whether they are cooked or not, then this includes: Left out at room temperature or for too long outside the refrigerator. Hot dogs left out at room temperature or too long in the fridge are also included.

Can pregnant women eat hot dogs in tins, jars or cans?

The method of storing hot dogs does not affect whether they can be eaten during pregnancy. If you are pregnant, no matter how the hot dogs are packaged, it is important to cook them thoroughly before eating.

How to cook hot dogs to make them safe for pregnant women

The internal temperature of hot dogs (175f/75c), is what you should be looking out for.

Can I Eat Hot Dogs While Pregnant? Is It Safe Or Risky?

If you cook hot dogs at home, eat them as soon as possible after cooking. Don’t let them sit or cool down too long. When cooking frozen hot dogs, be sure to cook them all the way.

Here is a guide on how to cook hot dogs. However, keep in mind that there are many different types, sizes and recipes for hot dogs, so this guide is only a guide. Check the instructions on the package and make sure the hot dog you are serving is hot.

  • Broiling or grilling– Cook the hot dogs until they are sizzling and steaming. When you are at a BBQ, or if you are having one yourself – eat hot dogs or brats that have just been cooked.
  • Boiling: Instead of simmering hot dogs for 2-3 minutes as instructed on many package instructions, boil them instead. When you remove the hot dogs from the water, they should be steaming. Do not let the hotdogs sit in warm water for too long before serving.
  • Microwaving – It’s normal to microwave hotdogs with some water, in a microwave-safe bowl. Some people wrap the hot dogs in paper towels and microwave them for a minute. This depends on your microwave’s power. This is also a case where the steaming-hot rule applies.
  • Oven Baking– Hot dogs can be baked in the oven for about ten minutes, at around 350F/175c to cook them thoroughly. But again, make sure you check all instructions. They should be turned frequently to ensure they are cooked on all sides.

Why can’t pregnant women eat cold, raw or uncured hot dogs?

When someone asks whether they can eat hot dogs ‘raw’, this usually means eating them cold, straight out of the pouch, jar, or packet. Hot dogs can be stored in brine or other types of liquids, as well as in vacuum-sealed pouches.

Although hot dogs are cooked at the time of manufacture, they can still be contaminated by listeria due to how they’re made and stored.

Listeria can be a danger in hotdogs in two ways: the factories themselves may have outbreaks at any point in their manufacturing process. Rare, but it happens.

Most products are only recalled when a problem is identified. For example, the Bil Mar Foods outbreak in 1999 that affected over 100 people (source food protection), and Bar-S Foods recall in 2016 (source CNN).

Second, antimicrobial additives and coatings that are used to preserve hot dogs may not be sufficient or fail if the hot dog isn’t heated to a high enough temperature to kill bacteria.

Listeria Monocytogenes cause listeria infections. It is one of those microbes that can only be killed by cooking temperatures above 165f/75c. Listeria thrives best in dark, cool and moist environments. This includes under refrigeration.

Uncooked hot dogs should not be eaten by pregnant women. They are more likely to contain Listeria.

Can I Eat Hot Dogs While Pregnant? Is It Safe Or Risky?

Help! I ate an uncooked/raw hot dog and now I’m pregnant – what do I do?

If you accidentally ate a hot dog that was raw or undercooked, don’t panic. Stress, guilt and anxiety won’t help you or your child. Take practical steps instead:

  • Monitor your symptoms. (Listeriosis can cause flu-like symptoms, such as nausea, headache, and fever).
  • Consult your doctor immediately if you are feeling unwell. Even if you think it is a ‘normal pregnancy symptom’ like morning sickness. Tell them when you ate it and the type of hot dog. They will monitor your condition and give you advice.
  • Listeria is extremely rare. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

Can Pregnant Women Eat Hot Dogs Containing Nitrates?

Currently, the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) in the USA as well as its counterparts in countries like the EFSA(European Food Safety Authority), consider the level of nitrates in food to be at a safe level for consumers.

According to the FDA, nitrates or sodium nitrate should not exceed 500 ppm in food manufacturing (source: FDA).

Hot dogs are injected with nitrates as a colourant and preservative. Food containing nitrates produces carcinogenic nitrosamines in our bodies.

There have been no conclusive studies to determine whether or not the nitrates in food have any effect on pregnant women and their unborn children.

Hot dogs are not a good choice for pregnant women because they contain a lot of fat, sodium and salt. They are also not a very nutrient-dense food. Hot dogs also contain nitrates. It is best to limit your intake (or to avoid them entirely) when you are pregnant.

Hot dog consumption during pregnancy should be limited. You can choose a nitrate-free hot dog if you want to. These are increasingly available in supermarkets.

Can I Eat Hot Dogs While Pregnant? Is It Safe Or Risky?

What about all-beef hot dogs, Veggie Hot Dogs or Turkey Hot Dogs When I’m Pregnant?

the temperature at which the hot dog is cooked is what matters. Listeria is not only a bacteria that lives in meat. It can also thrive on vegetables.

Pork Hot dogs are as susceptible to contamination by listeria as those made from beef. It’s the same for hot dogs made with turkey or other ingredients, like soy protein.

All hot dogs, regardless of what they contain, are processed foods (often produced in the same factories that produce standard meat products). They should be cooked to the same temperature inside before being consumed during pregnancy.

Although turkey or veggie hot dogs are lower in fat, they still don’t make the best choice for pregnant women.

Can I Eat Dogs During The First, Second, and Third Trimesters of My Pregnancy?

When a hotdog is cooked to a scalding temperature, it can be consumed at any stage of pregnancy. Remember that hot dogs do not contain much nutrition.

These foods are high in sodium, nitrates, and fat. It is best to limit their consumption during pregnancy when you are eating more nutrient-dense, non-processed foods.

Are Hot Dog Toppings Safe in Pregnancy?

Of course, hot dogs have not eaten alone. You should also consider the following items when you are pregnant.

  • Hot Dog Buns Although regular hot dog buns are not harmful, pregnant women may want to choose whole grain, whole wheat, or brown bread if possible. However, many hot dog buns only use white bread.
  • mustard, relish, salsa, and ketchup are all safe to consume if you’re expecting. Some mustards are quite acidic and can cause indigestion if you have been prone to this during pregnancy.
  • Onions, whether fried, raw or crispy are safe to consume for pregnant women but can cause indigestion.
  • Coleslaw with mayonnaise — not seen often on hot dogs but to each their own! Salads should only contain pasteurized mayonnaise for pregnant women. However, it’s best to avoid coleslaw. Sauerkraut, for example, is a slaw-like component.
  • The cheese should be pasteurized. It’s usually the case when it comes to processed Cheese¬†or cheese slices. These are safe for pregnant women. Check the type of cheese used if you are in doubt. Hard cheeses usually work well.
  • Salad, (e.g. If you don’t prepare your lettuce yourself, it is best to avoid it as listeria can be present if the lettuce has not been thoroughly cleaned.
  • Remember listeria, and other microbes, can grow on hot dog toppings that are not stored correctly or left out too long.

It’s important to use common sense when it comes to food during pregnancy. Do not eat hotdogs that have been sitting in brine for hours. Avoid using ketchup that’s been sitting in the sun for hours. Also, avoid any toppings which may be unsanitary.

Hot dogs should be prepared at home, where you can monitor and control the temperature of both the hot dog as well as anything else that is added to it. Hot dogs are safe to eat during pregnancy if you consider this.