Is it safe to eat couscous merguez while pregnant?
Pregnancy is certainly a life-changing event. How wonderful it is the idea of giving birth! It’s normal for mothers to feel a little lost when it comes to getting used to new food habits and restrictions. What is good and what is bad for the baby? Can we eat couscous merguez while pregnant? We have answered some of the questions about eating meat while pregnant in a different article. In this post, we are going to focus on the potential risks of eating meat-based dishes .
Can you eat couscous merguez when you’re pregnant?
Most kinds of meat are safe to be eaten while pregnant. Whether it is beef, mutton, pork, chicken, turkey… pretty much all of them. It won’t be a problem for you to eat couscous merguez during your pregnancy under one condition; it is necessary that the meat is well cooked. A little reminder of the kinds of meat you can eat and the ones you should avoid while pregnant.
It’s safe to eat:
- All beef, chicken, turkey, cooked pork;
You should avoid:
- Rillettes and pâtés;
What measures should you take when eating couscous merguez during pregnancy?
Your meat need to be either already cooked (like ham, for example), or cooked to a minimum of 70°C/158°F, regardless of if it’s cooked in a pan, in the oven or barbecue. This is the same thing as saying that in order to eat couscous merguez safely during your pregnancy you have to be sure that it is well cooked.
If you warm up a meal, remember that it has to be well cooked in the first place. In the refrigerator, keep the cooked and the raw food on different shelves to avoid contamination from the bacteria that the raw food might contain.
Risks associated with eating couscous merguez while pregnant
The problems associated with meat consumption are related with the contamination with listeriosis and toxoplasmosis – a bacterium and a parasite, respectively. To prevent being infected by these two germs, it is necessary to be sure that the meat you eat has been cooked at high temperatures. The heat from cooking the meat at a certain temperature will kill both listeriosis and toxoplasmosis.
Can you eat couscous merguez during pregnancy when it is served with other ingredients?
Certain meat recipes may include alcohol like wine or rum as an ingredient. It is advisable to check if that is the case with couscous merguez before eating. If it is the case, you should make sure that it only contains a small amount that has been cooked for very long enough. The minimum time for alcohol to evaporate is after boiling for 1h30.
Eating couscous merguez and vegetables while pregnant
couscous merguez may quite often be served with raw vegetables. To prevent being infected by toxoplasmosis (this applies to pregnant women without antibodies against toxoplasmosis), it is very necessary to wash the vegetables before eating them.
If the vegetables are cooked, than you have nothing to worry about. Toxoplasmosis cannot survive the heat, and so it won’t survive the cooking temperatures.
Same thing goes for listeriosis, which can be present in some types of cheese. Again, if the cheese is cooked, it won’t be a risk for your pregnancy. For this reason, it is safe to eat couscous merguez while pregnant even if it contains cheese.
Cream or milk
If the dish happens to be made with cream or milk, it is preferable to be sure they’re pasteurized.
It is advisable to moderate the use of salt while pregnant. Large quantities of salt may promote an increase in your blood pressure.
It is okay to eat couscous merguez while pregnant, as long as you be sure the ingredients are either safe or well cooked.