Becoming pregnant can be a stressful time, especially when you are determined to eat a healthy diet, so if you are wondering: can I eat Vienna sausage while pregnant, read on for some helpful advice about this popular and tasty food.
But what is Vienna sausage?
Vienna sausage is a hot dog sausage made from pre-cooked meat. The filling is comprised of a ground up blend of different meats including chicken, beef, pork, and turkey, all mixed up with herbs and spices, particularly mustard. The meat is pushed into a long casing and thoroughly cooked before the casings are removed and the Vienna sausages are canned or packaged in various types of sauce including barbecue or chilli.
There are many different varieties of Vienna sausage depending on which country the sausage is sold in. Vienna sausages sold in Europe have a very similar taste and texture to those eaten in North America, although they are usually longer and thinner.
But can I eat Vienna sausage while pregnant?
Because Vienna sausages are made from pre-cooked meat, there is a small danger of the product being contaminated with bacterial organisms that can lead to food poisoning, specifically listeria. This nasty organism is very dangerous for pregnant women and care should always be taken to avoid foods known to be in high risk categories.
Some pregnancy books advise expectant mothers not to eat Vienna sausages due to the high levels of nitrates and nitrites commonly found in processed meats. If you develop a serious addiction to Vienna sausages and find yourself eating several cans of sausages per day, it might be a good idea to consult your doctor to check if there could be any side effects to eating large quantities of processed foods, but most women eat what they like during pregnancy and suffer no ill effects.
High levels of salt are another issue to consider with Vienna sausages. Pregnant women who are suffering from water retention and swollen limbs should cut back on the amount of Vienna sausages they eat as 1 can of sausages contains almost half the daily recommended salt allowance.
However, although Vienna sausages are not the healthiest food products you can eat while you are pregnant, eaten in moderation they are absolutely fine. Most women have strange food cravings when pregnant and to develop a sudden fixation for Vienna sausages is not that unusual. There are plenty more unusual food things you could find yourself craving in the middle of the night—sardines and ice cream anyone?
If the Vienna sausages are pre-cooked and come from a can or plastic package, they will be ok to eat. If they are not cooked and you have bought them from the deli counter, make sure you follow the preparation instructions to the letter and cook the sausages thoroughly.
The sausages can be baked in the oven, fried, or boiled, depending on your individual tastes. Try coating them in mustard and eating inside a fresh bread roll, or slice the Vienna sausages into thin pieces and toss in a fresh pasta salad for a healthier option.