Can You Eat Sausage When Pregnant?

Can You Eat Sausage When Pregnant?

Medically Reviewed By
Megha Gupta (Paediatric Nutritionist)
View more Paediatric Nutritionist Our Panel of Experts

Sausage tastes delicious and can enhance the taste of soups and sandwiches. Many women crave it during pregnancy, and it is safe to include it in a pregnancy diet as long as it is cooked thoroughly and consumed in moderate amounts. When consuming sausage during pregnancy, it is important to choose lean varieties with low sodium content to promote a healthier diet. Additionally, opting for organic or nitrate-free options can reduce the potential risks associated with preservatives. That said, it can also lead to certain unwanted pregnancy complications. So should you include it in your pregnancy diet or not? Read on to learn more about the benefits and side effects of eating sausage during pregnancy and make an informed decision.

Can You Eat Sausage during Pregnancy?

Yes, sausage is safe to consume during pregnancy. But as with any other meat, you must cook it at the right temperature, for the right time, to cook it to the core with no juices inside. The recommended internal temperature for ground pork, beef, lamb, or veal sausages is 165 °F, whereas the recommended internal temperature for ground turkey and chicken sausages is 160 °F. However, as mentioned before, it is safe to eat but not the healthiest choice as it can lead to unnecessary pregnancy complications. Hence, it is suggested that you consult your doctor before including it in your pregnancy diet. 

Types of Sausages – Safe and Unsafe

Here are some of the common types of sausages. Some are safe to include in a pregnancy diet, while others aren’t. Read on to find out which ones you can include in your diet. However, eat it in moderate amounts.

1. Dry or Semi-Dry Sausage

Dry or semi-dry sausage is usually mixed with meat (chopped or ground), cultured well, and then preserved by adding sodium nitrite and salt. Sausage casings are then used to enclose the filling, where it is allowed to ferment and then dried. Many popular sausages, such as bologna or pepperoni, fall under the dry or semi-dry sausage category.

Safety Tips

In most of the procedures that involve preparing these sausages, such as fermentation and drying, the removal of moisture results in the termination of any bacteria that can cause illnesses. But some of them can still remain. Therefore, it’s best not to have dry sausages while pregnant.

2. Cooked or Smoked Sausage

Cooked or Smoked Sausage

Sausage made from ground meat or chopped meat seasoned well, cooked and smoked is enjoyed by all. Various sausages such as cooked bratwurst, salami, bologna, hot dogs, and the like are either cooked or smoked.

Safety Tips

The process of cooking is what rid these sausages of any bacteria. So if they are not cooked well or hot, avoid eating them.

3. Fresh Sausage

Fresh sausage is made from chopped pieces of meat, cured properly beforehand and seasoned well to be prepared fresh. Most of the sausages made from pork, beef, or other sausages that are great for breakfasts and hail from Italian cuisine are usually fresh.

Safety Tips

These sausages are quite safe for consumption during pregnancy. However, ensuring they are refrigerated properly when stored and cooked thoroughly before eating is necessary.

4. Grilled Sausage

Grilling sausages can enhance their flavour and create a deliciously charred exterior. To safely consume grilled sausages during pregnancy, ensure they are cooked thoroughly, reaching an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) to eliminate potential bacteria.

Safety Tips

Avoid charring or blackening the sausages excessively, creating potentially harmful compounds. Serve the grilled sausages hot and cook them evenly throughout before consuming.

5. Boiled Sausage

Boiling sausages is a popular cooking method that ensures even cooking and tenderness. This type is made by placing the sausages in a pot and adding enough water to cover them. Once the water boils, reduce the heat to a simmer and continue cooking the sausages gently in the simmering water until they reach an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Safety Tips

Drain the sausages and pat them dry before serving to remove excess moisture. To safely consume boiled sausages during pregnancy, ensure they are cooked thoroughly by boiling them in water until they are tender.

6. Baked Sausage

Baking sausages in the oven can create a crisp outer layer while retaining moisture. Place the sausages on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminium foil to make these. Bake the sausages in the preheated oven until fully cooked, reaching an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C).

Safety Tips

To safely consume baked sausages during pregnancy, check for doneness by cutting into the thickest part of the sausage to ensure no remaining pinkness or raw meat.

To make sure that any of these types of sausages are the safest to consume, make sure that you follow certain tips to store, cook and reheat the sausages, as discussed further in the article.

Benefits of Eating Sausage During Pregnancy

Sausage is known to contain amino acids, which contain high-quality protein, making it a healthy option overall. It is also a rich source of vitamins, especially Vitamin B12. Another key element present in substantial levels in sausage is iron. This further complements keeping the haemoglobin levels of the blood to an optimal level, which prevents the onset of anaemia.

Side Effects of Consuming Sausage While Pregnant

Following are some side effects of consuming sausages during pregnancy.

1. Premature Delivery or Miscarriage

Eating sausage in pregnancy can lead to the risk of listeria. Listeria is a specific bacteria that can affect the pregnancy, leading to consequences such as premature deliverymiscarriages, and in the worst scenario, stillbirth.

2. A Higher Chance of Contracting Other Diseases

Symptoms of being infected with salmonella are severe. Nausea, intense stomach ache, followed by diarrhoea, vomiting, and frequent dehydration, are also some complications that may arise if you eat sausage while pregnant and get infected with salmonella bacteria. This may be further compounded by high fever and body pain. Another parasite causing toxoplasmosis can lead to premature delivery, jaundice, and convulsions in the mother.

3. Heartburn

Having a lot of spicy sausages can cause heartburn, and you may have trouble sleeping

4. Pregnancy Complications

There is always a high chance of any microbe being alive in the meat, which can lead to unwanted pregnancy complications. So it is suggested that you cook it properly before including it in your pregnancy diet and avoid any complications

5. An Increased Amount of Sodium and Fat in the Body

Nearly 27% of sausage comprises fat, and 10% comprises saturated fats. Similarly, 1.2% of the sausage is made up of sodium. Eating too much sausage can increase sodium and fat content in your body and result in unwanted complications.

6. Digestive Issues

Some pregnant women may experience digestive issues such as bloating, gas, or constipation from consuming sausage. This can be attributed to the high-fat content in certain sausages, which can slow digestion. To alleviate these symptoms, it’s advisable to choose leaner sausage options and pair them with fibre-rich foods like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

7. Allergic Reactions

Although rare, some individuals may be allergic to certain sausage ingredients, such as spices, preservatives, or additives. Allergic reactions can range from mild symptoms like itching or hives to severe reactions like difficulty breathing or anaphylaxis. If you have a known food allergy or suspect an allergy to sausage ingredients, it’s important to avoid consuming sausages and consult your dietician for precise guidance.

Digestive and heartburn during pregnancy

Tips for Eating Sausages Safely in Pregnancy

If you want to eat sausages during pregnancy, here are some tips you should keep in mind.

  • Always consume the sausage when it is piping hot. If not, always reheat it to the appropriate temperature and then consume it.
  • Avoid eating sausages that are not cooked well.
  • Store sausages in the fridge for not more than two days. While consuming them after the specified duration, make sure they are heated fully again and cooked until hot.
  • Make sure that any raw meat is not placed close to the sausage you want to eat. The juices of the meat could enter the sausage and cause bacteria to thrive.
  • Some sausages are uncooked; others are ready-to-eat. Make sure you cook both at the right temperature before consuming them.
  • Always opt for less spicy sausages with substantially low amounts of sodium.
  • Store them properly in the refrigerator or freezer to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Use separate utensils and cutting boards for raw and cooked sausages to avoid cross-contamination, and 
  • If reheating leftover sausages, ensure they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F (74°C) before consumption.

Delicious Sausage Recipes You Can Try

If you want to enjoy some delicious sausage dishes, here are a few recipes you can try.

1. Baked Sausages With Butterbeans

Baked Sausages With Butterbeans

Baked sausages with butterbeans taste delicious. Here is how you can make them.


  • Sausages – 4-5
  • Drained butterbeans – 2 cups
  • Brown onion (chopped) – 1
  • Coriander leaves
  • Tomatoes (chopped) – 1
  • Garlic cloves – 2-3
  • Capsicums chopped – 2

How to Prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C for about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Place the onions, capsicums, and sausages on top in a baking tray. Keep the tray in the oven and cook for 18-20 minutes.
  3. Once cooked, add the butterbeans, garlic, and tomatoes to them, and mix well.
  4. Add some water until the mix is juicy.
  5. Follow it up with sausages and cover it with foil. Place the tray in the oven and cook it for the same duration.
  6. Remove it and garnish with coriander before serving.

2. Sausage Casserole

Sausage Casserole

Sausage casserole tastes delicious, plus it is filling too. Here’s the recipe for sausage casserole.


  • Sausages – 6-7
  • Boiled potatoes – 2
  • Cheddar cheese – 1 cup
  • Tomato puree – 1 cup
  • Curry powder – 1 tsp
  • Chicken stock
  • Sunflower oil – 1-2 tbsp
  • Drained beans – 1 cup
  • Bean sauce – 1 cup
  • Carrots – 1/2 cup
  • Chopped onion (medium-sized) – 1
  • Water

How to Prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Heat some oil in a pan and fry the sausages in it. Transfer them to a plate, then fry the onions and carrots.
  3. Add the beans, tomato puree, curry powder, and chicken stock to the mix, and let it cook on low flame for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Mash the boiled potatoes in a separate bowl.
  5. Take a casserole dish and place a few sausages in it. Add the bean sauce and potato mash, then add the bean-tomato curry mixture, followed by some more sausages.
  6. Bake it in the oven for about 20 minutes, then enjoy.

3. Honey Glazed Sausages

Honey Glazed Sausages

Want to eat something sweet and spicy? Make honey-glazed sausages. Check out the recipe below –


  • Sausages – 4
  • Honey – 3 tbsp
  • Vinegar – 1 tsp
  • Cinnamon – 1/2 tsp
  • Olive oil – 1 tbsp
  • Brown sugar – 1 tsp
  • Sesame seeds – 1 tsp
  • Water
  • Oil for cooking

How to Prepare

  1. Take some oil in a pan and cook the sausages for about 20 minutes.
  2. In another pan, take some honey and sugar and let it boil.
  3. Remove the fat from the sausage pan and cook on medium flame again.
  4. Add the vinegar and honey and sugar mixture in the pan with sausages. Stir continuously to prevent sausages from sticking.
  5. Once fully cooked, pair them with mashed potatoes and serve.

4. Sausage and Sweet Potato Skillet


  • 4 sausages (any preferred variety)
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Prepare

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the sausages and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the sausages from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add the sweet potato, bell peppers, onion, and garlic in the same skillet. Sauté until the vegetables are tender.
  4. Slice the sausages into bite-sized pieces and add them to the skillet.
  5. Season with dried thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  6. Cook for a few more minutes until the sausages are heated.
  7. Serve hot, and enjoy!

5. Sausage and Spinach Stuffed Bell Peppers


  • 4 bell peppers (any preferred colour)
  • 4 sausages (removed from the casing)
  • 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  •  Salt and pepper to taste

How to Prepare

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cut off the tops of the bell peppers and remove the seeds and membranes.
  3. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the sausage meat and cook until browned.
  4. Add the chopped spinach to the skillet and cook until wilted.
  5. Stir in the cooked quinoa and season with dried oregano, salt, and pepper.
  6. Stuff each bell pepper with the sausage and spinach mixture.
  7. Place the stuffed bell peppers in a baking dish and sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese.
  8. Bake in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the bell peppers are tender and the cheese is melted and golden.
  9. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly, and serve.

6. Sausage and Potato Hash


  • 4 sausages (any preferred variety)
  • 4 medium-sized potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste

How to Prepare

  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.
  2. Add the sausages and cook until browned on all sides. Remove the sausages from the skillet and set aside.
  3. Add the diced potatoes, onion, and bell pepper in the same skillet. Sauté until the potatoes are golden and cooked through.
  4. Slice the sausages into bite-sized pieces and add them to the skillet.
  5. Sprinkle with paprika, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine.
  6. Cook for a few more minutes until the sausages are heated.
  7. Serve hot, and enjoy the delicious sausage and potato hash.


1. Is It Safe to Eat Chorizo During Pregnancy?

Since it is a pork sausage, it should be consumed moderately. However, it is best avoided.

2. Can I Eat Hot Sausage While Pregnant?

Hot sausage tastes delicious, but eating them in large quantities may lead to heartburn. So it is best avoided in pregnancy. If you do want to enjoy hot sausages, consume them only once in a while.

3. Can Pregnant Women Eat Vienna Sausage?

Vienna sausage is made from pre-cooked sausage that could have bacteria and also contain elevated levels of nitrites and sodium nitrate. So they are best avoided during pregnancy.

4. Is It Safe to Consume Italian Sausages?

Occasional consumption is not harmful since it has a lot of fat and calories.

5. Is Consuming Sausage Casings During Pregnancy Safe?

Consuming sausage casings is generally considered safe during pregnancy as long as they are thoroughly cooked and free from any potential contaminants.

6. Is Nitrates in Sausage Unsafe for Pregnant Women?

If sausages are consumed in moderation during pregnancy, then nitrate consumption will also be low and in moderation. However, excessive intake of nitrates may have potential health risks, so it’s advisable to choose nitrate-free or lower-nitrate options when possible.

7. Is It Safe to Eat Expired Sausage While Pregnant?

No, it is not safe to eat expired sausage during pregnancy. Expired sausage may contain harmful bacteria that can lead to foodborne illnesses, which can be particularly risky for pregnant women. Always check the expiration date and properly store and handle sausages to ensure food safety.

8. Can Sausage Cause Constipation in Pregnancy?

The sausage itself is not a direct cause of constipation in pregnancy. However, some sausages can be high in fat and low in fibre, which may contribute to constipation. Pairing leaner sausage options with fibre-rich foods is advisable to promote regular bowel movements.

9. Does Sausage Cause Gestational Diabetes While Pregnant?

While sausage does contain fat and protein, which are generally well-tolerated in a gestational diabetes diet, the high sodium and processed nature of some sausages may not be ideal. It’s recommended to consult with a healthcare professional or a registered dietitian for personalised guidance on managing gestational diabetes.

10. Can Sausage Cause High Blood Pressure When Pregnant?

Regular consumption of sausages, especially processed varieties high in sodium, can contribute to higher blood pressure levels during pregnancy. It is advisable to choose lower-sodium options and moderate the overall intake of sausages to maintain healthy blood pressure levels. It’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for personalised advice.

Sausages can be consumed during pregnancy but cooking them properly is essential to prevent any harm to the baby. Keeping their consumption occasional and maintaining all precautions allows you to gorge on your favourite food items and have a healthy pregnancy.


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4. Mao. C, Liu. R, Bo. L; High-salt diets during pregnancy affected fetal and offspring renal renin–angiotensin system; PubMed Central;; April 2015

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6. Dominguez. LJ, Gonzalez. MAM, Javier. F, et al.; Fast Food Consumption and Gestational Diabetes Incidence in the SUN Project; PubMed Central;; September 2014

7. Arvizu. M, Bjerregaard. AA, Madsen. MTB, et al.; Sodium Intake During Pregnancy, but Not Other Diet Recommendations Aimed at Preventing Cardiovascular Disease, Is Positively Related to Risk of Hypertensive Disorders of Pregnancy; PubMed central;; August 2019

Also Read:

Egg while Pregnant
Fish during Pregnancy
Eating Chicken when Pregnancy

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