As a member of the poultry family, turkey poses the risk of food poisoning caused by Campylobacter jejuni, Salmonella bacteria, and Clostridium perfringens. Depending on the way it is cooked, the nutrition of Turkey also varies. So, it’s important to prepare Turkey as per a few simple rules to keep yourself and your baby safe. Pregnant women are advised to avoid eating processed meats as they contain bacteria listeria, leading to listeriosis.
According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, expecting mothers are ten times more susceptible to get listeriosis than the common population as their immune system is low at this time. According to the USDA, eating undercooked or raw turkey poses the risk of foodborne illnesses. Thus, Turkey needs to be cooked up to a safe minimum internal temperature of 165°F to kill the bacteria.
However, some doctors recommend turkey be cooked up to 180 degrees for pregnant women to maintain optimum health. You can use the leftovers of a turkey for making a turkey sandwich the following day, after heating it. You should avoid cold meat due to its listeria concerns.
Turkey is a large bird native to North America. It’s hunted in the wild and raised on farms for food. It offers a diverse and impressive nutrition profile that is especially needed during pregnancy.
Here are some health benefits of eating turkey while pregnant:
Turkey needs to be appropriately cleaned and washed well before starting to cook. Cooking Turkey meat at the right temperature and eating it in moderation ward away the major concerns of falling ill during pregnancy. Here are some simple tips that can ensure the turkey you cook tastes best and is perfectly safe to eat.
Turkey raised under organic conditions ensures the best nutrients in your dish. Grass-fed turkeys are rich in superior quality nutrients than those injected with antibiotics and those that don’t feed around on natural pastures. To be on the safe side, do consult your doctor about the daily recommended allowance of turkey during your pregnancy so that you can satisfy your craving and stay healthy at the same time.
Many Turkey hot dog packages instruct you to cook until the turkey frankfurter is warmed through. However, just “warmed” isn’t enough during pregnancy. Turkey dogs need to be cooked to the temperature of 165°F/75°C and served when “steaming hot” for them to be termed safe for pregnant women.
Turkey sausages are made from ground meat, and pregnant women can safely eat them once they have been cooked fully to 165°F/75°C, which may kill the bacteria present.
Cold cuts or pre-cooked/cured Turkey meat such as Turkey ham. At the same time, pregnant and especially those purchased from deli counters and then sliced on a deli counter can become contaminated or are potentially contaminated with Listeria bacteria. Therefore, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advises that pregnant women avoid eating them in cold cut, fermented or dry sausages form unless they are heated to an internal temperature of 165°F or steamed just before serving to steer away from any Listeria infection. These meats can harbor bacteria that can continue to grow even when refrigerated.
Eating smoked or grilled Turkey during pregnancy and eating the right quantity is a matter of individual choice. If the lunch meat you love is smoked turkey or smoked brisket or ham on the menu for dinner, make sure it is not cold or at room temperature either. Smoked Turkey meats cooked or reheated at the right temperature of 165°F/75°C can help destroy the potentially harmful chemical compound Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH), which is likely to be carcinogenic. Grilling even releases the bacteria in them. Thus, when the turkey is grilled, using hot coals or a flame for cooking quickly at a high temperature, it is best to eat it only in small amounts, especially for mothers in their third trimester. Finally, steaming hot or smoked turkey should be eaten right after it is served.
Turkey burgers and other ground turkey products are often marketed as a “healthier swap” to traditional beef-based products. Turkey is 50% lower in fat than the standard 80/20 ground beef. However, regardless of fat content the principles of traditional ground meats, it is essential to cook Turkey until the inside of the product is at least 165°F to prevent foodborne illness. Whether pre-cooked or not, you should still heat any packaged or frozen or not, ground turkey items to about 165°F/75°C to destroy the presence of any bacteria and help prevent sickness for you and your baby.
Deli turkey while pregnant is safe only if they have been dried and salted, such as pepperoni and salami. You should avoid processed and readymade products, such as bologna, hot dog, roast beef, and sliced turkey breast, as they have not been dried between processing factories and being displayed in a deli counter, prepackaged or sliced to order, deli meats are highly likely to be contaminated with Listeria. While the overall risk of Listeria infections can be minimum, there is a possibility of the mother getting sick with fever, diarrhea, and blood-stream infections. It may also lead to serious complications like miscarriage, poor fetal growth, pre-term delivery, and stillbirth. Thus, steaming the meat or warming Deli Turkey to 165°F/75°C or warming Deli meat in the microwave for even heat distribution can destroy any bacteria that are especially dangerous when the immune system is low during pregnancy.
Due to its lower fat content, Turkey bacon is considered a healthier alternative to pork bacon. All the varieties of turkey bacon, including the ones with and without nitrites, cured, and ready-to-heat, can be safe to eat during pregnancy provided they’ve been cooked thoroughly and served hot. So, the bottom line is that you should avoid cold Turkey bacon at any cost.
This post was last modified on January 12, 2022 6:09 pm
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