You must be careful about the foods you choose while pregnant. Not only will your nutrition affect the growth and development of your baby, it can also affect his health. Certain meats, such as smoked meats, should be avoided. Health professionals caution against eating these foods because of bacterial or parasitic infection. Stay on the side of caution and skip the smoked ribs during pregnancy.
Problems With Smoked Meats
Add smoked meats to the list of foods to cut out of your diet during pregnancy. Smoked meats, whether cooked at home or prepackaged, carry the risk of being undercooked. Undercooking your meat can leave you vulnerable to bacteria or parasites. If meat is packaged, sometimes it can become infected after it is cooked but before it is packaged.
Concern for Baby
Undercooked meat can carry salmonella, E. coli or toxoplasmosis. Prepackaged smoked ribs can be contaminated with listeria. All of these bacteria can potentially cross the placental barrier infecting your growing baby. These infections, if left untreated, can lead to miscarriage or stillbirth.
If you have eaten smoked ribs or any other potentially undercooked meat, look out for these symptoms. If you do have food poisoning, the sooner you get treatment, the less harm may be done. If you suddenly feel like you have the flu, experiencing nausea and/or diarrhea, you may have food poisoning. See your doctor right away.
It is important to practice safe meat cooking habits during pregnancy. Always thoroughly wash your hands after touching raw meat and disinfect any surfaces that came in contact with it as well. Check for doneness using a meat thermometer. For pork roasts or chops, beef, veal and lamb, heat the meat until it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit. For ground beef, veal or lamb heat until the temperature is at least 160. For ground poultry, heat to at least 165. Chicken breasts should heat to 170 and whole birds to 180. These guidelines are the minimum cooking temp.