Is it safe to eat moussaka while pregnant?
Pregnancy is definitely a life-changing event. How wonderful it is the idea of giving birth! It’s natural 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? Is it safe to eat moussaka when you’re pregnant? We have clarified 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 .
Is it possible to eat moussaka 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 moussaka 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 precautions should you take when eating moussaka 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 moussaka safely during your pregnancy you have to make 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.
Problems associated with eating moussaka while pregnant
The risks associated with meat consumption are related with the contamination with listeriosis and toxoplasmosis – a bacterium and a parasite, respectively. To avoid being infected by these two germs, it is necessary to make 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 moussaka 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 moussaka before eating. If it is the case, you should make sure that it only contains a small amount that has been cooked for long enough. The minimum time for alcohol to evaporate is after boiling for 1h30.
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Eating moussaka and vegetables while pregnant
moussaka may sometimes be served with raw vegetables. To avoid 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 withstand 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 moussaka when you are pregnant even if it contains cheese.
Cream or milk
If the dish happens to be made with cream or milk, it is preferable to make 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 moussaka while pregnant, as long as you make sure the ingredients are either safe or well cooked.