Last Updated on by Eat Better Move More

Can I eat hot dog while pregnant?

You have probably heard some serious warnings about consuming hot dogs as a pregnant woman. It is an American favorite that you can find in social gatherings, baseball games, and barbecues.

Also called wieners or frankfurters, hot dogs are meats that have been previously cured, produced from poultry byproducts, beef, or pork.

When most women discover that there is another human in their womb, they’ll naturally want a catalog of the things they should consume and the ones they shouldn’t. It is understandably so because no one wants anything that would hurt their baby. 

As the summer approaches, several expectant mothers are worried about their much-loved BBQ treats like hot dogs and wonder if it will not hurt their baby.

There are two major challenges that expectant mothers face in relation to what they choose to consume: what food is the nutritional fit for their babies and what is dangerous to them.

That said, the question still lingers in your mind, ”Can I eat hot dog while pregnant?”

Can I eat hot dog while pregnant

Can I eat hot dog while pregnant – hot dog ingredients

Before you enlist hot dogs as part of the foods to avoid during pregnancy, it is important that you make some research about it.

Hot dogs are steamed or grilled treats with a cooked sausage in the middle of a partially cut bun. In a hot dog, the typical ingredients you’ll find are:

  • Bread or bun
  • Processed beef (pork, turkey, beef, or chicken) 
  • Flavorings like paprika, garlic, pepper, and salt. 
  • Garnishes like cheese, mustard sauce, tomato sauce, caramelized onions, coleslaw, and mayonnaise.
  • Preservatives like sodium erythorbate or sodium nitrite 

Contamination with Bacteria

A mother can pass a bacteria called Listeria to a fetus, causing stillbirth or miscarriage. Thankfully Listeria infections are very rare, occurring in only three people per million in the US every year. And Listeria is easily killed by cooking the meat thoroughly.

The species of bacteria present in frozen meat products, soft cheeses, and preserved meats can cause damage to it.

This organism is notorious for causing the disease known as listeriosis, a disease marked by stomach pain and flu-like manifestations.

Older people, young children, those with the compromised immune system, and expectant mothers are those most vulnerable to listeriosis. 

During pregnancy, listeriosis is especially harmful as it can progress to inflammation, early labor, miscarriage, or even the baby’s death.

Correct Heating

It is possible to kill Listeria monocytogenes using heat. While hot dogs are deemed pre-cooked, it is essential that you heat them adequately to remove the bacterial population.

When eating raw deli meat, the chance of getting listeriosis is highest; if not sufficiently heated, microbes will keep thriving.

Your hot dogs ought to be steamed and eaten warm, whether they’re microwaved, boiled, or grilled.

Don’t let your hot dogs become cold; else, you stand the chance of additional contamination. So, hot dogs are safe to eat while pregnant, so deselect it from your list of foods to avoid during pregnancy.

Sodium Nitrates

Sodium nitrates are real problems related to the consumption of hot dogs.

Sodium nitrites and nitrates are chemicals produced and utilized for the extension of the shelf-life of food products. Plus, they also improve the color of foods courtesy of the role of food preservatives.

They inhibit the development of dangerous bacteria like Clostridium botulinum and Listeria monocytogenes when they function as food preservatives.

Research published in the 2007 Journal of Epidemiology by Dr. Ute Nothlings et al. showed that people who ate processed meat products in huge quantities had an elevated chance of developing pancreatic cancer.

Also, sodium nitrites are linked to blood vessel injury, thus increasing the possibility of contracting heart problems.


If you’ll like to prevent bacteria or nitrates-related hazards but also eat hot dogs, there are some options out there for you.

There are meat-free alternatives on the shelf that are produced from replacements for soy-meat, vegetables, and grains. Compared to conventional hot dogs, certain vegetarian-friendly alternatives also have a lower amount of fats.

Safety measures To Take into account While Consuming Hot dogs for Expectant Mothers.

Before you enjoy a hot dog while pregnant, below are some things you need to consider.

  • It is estimated that one standard 6″ hot dog bun itself contains approximately 2.5g of fat, 140 calories, less than 270mg of sodium, 4g of protein, and 28g of carbohydrates. The extra calorific amounts could lead to obesity.
  • Don’tDon’t consume hot dogs unless they’re delivered hot or until they were cooked at 165 ° F.
  • Bun and bread contain carbohydrates, thus raising blood sugar and exacerbating complications of gestational diabetes.
  • Quit consuming hot dogs in unsanitary areas or restaurants. They are recognized as carriers of infection.
  • Before preparing it, wash the work areas with mild warm soapy water.
  • Also, before cooking them, clean your hands thoroughly before touching your hot dogs.
  • To abstain from eating contaminated foods, maintain the refrigerator by keeping it hygienic and adjust its temperature to 40°F or lower.

Although hot dogs are healthy for consumption for pregnant mothers, they may not be absolutely great for your dietary demands.

Some 7g of protein and 200Cal are found in a beef hot dog. It also includes 500mg of sodium and 12g of fat. These nutrients are not detrimental to an unborn child but need to be managed by regular consumption of dairy, grains, vegetables, and fruits.

By keeping to all of these demands, your hot dogs are safe to eat while pregnant<span style=”font-weight: 400;”>.

Can I eat hot dog while pregnant conclusion

Still asking, ‘can I eat hot dog while pregnant?’ As long as the chef cared enough to cook the hot dog beyond 160°F, it is safe for your consumption.

For most processed meat like cold cuts, salami, or hot dogs, there is a high chance that they can be contaminated by microorganisms when being packaged.

Like several other meat products, hot dogs also include nitrites, compounds employed to destroy bacteria and provide your hot dog with color and flavor.

Although there’s been some debate in recent times over the toxicity of nitrites, there is no scientific proof that these compounds are dangerous to a growing embryo, particularly at FDA approved amounts.

Owing to the risk of eating pathogenic microorganisms, expectant mothers are warned against eating prepared items like hot dogs, soft cheeses, and cold cuts while pregnant. Women can keep enjoying hot dogs during gestation without any apprehension of disease with proper planning.


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