Can you eat corn dogs while pregnant?

In this short article, we will provide an answer to the question, “Can you eat corn dogs?” with an in-depth analysis of corn dogs, the nutritional value of corn dogs, some reasons why it is not safe for pregnant women to eat corn dogs, and ways to safely consume corn dogs. 

Can you eat corn dogs while pregnant?

Yes, you can eat corn dogs while pregnant. However, it is better to avoid them during pregnancy. 

Although corn dogs are a common craving among pregnant females, there are chances of the presence of listeria bacteria that can pose some health threats, especially to pregnant women. 

Just make sure you cook them properly and also do not consume them in excessive amounts. 

What is a corn dog?

A corn dog is a sausage on a stick that has been coated in a thick layer of cornmeal batter and then deep-fried. It first originated in the United States and is a common part of American cuisine.

Why is it not safe for pregnant women to eat corn dogs?

Corn dogs are made up of processed meat. That is why they require some caution. There is a probability of the presence of a bacteria named Listeria monocytogenes that can lead to listeriosis. Therefore, corn dogs need to be cooked properly to a temperature that destroys this bacteria.

Listeriosis is a serious but rare infection that can cause severe complications in pregnant females and may lead to miscarriage.

The safety of corn dogs depends upon the temperature at which it is cooked and served, instead of what the corn dog is made of. Corn dogs should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees Fahrenheit.

To check the internal temperature, you can use a meat thermometer if you are preparing the corn dogs yourself, or if you are making a BBQ, the hot dog should be steaming hot and not just slightly warm.

Extra care should be taken when cooking frozen hot dogs, especially while grilling or doing BBQ. They may seem cooked on the surface but still be undercooked from the inside. For this reason, it is better to use a meat thermometer.

Women can become infected with listeria at any point during pregnancy. Usually, symptoms appear between 2 to 30 days after being exposed. During the third trimester, the immunity of pregnant women drops slightly, making them more susceptible to infection during this time. 

Common symptoms include headaches, muscle aches, nausea and diarrhoea, also flu in some cases. If left untreated, the bacteria can reach the nervous system and cause stiffness in the neck, confusion and even seizures. 

In severe cases, it can lead to miscarriages, stillborn births and birth defects. However, the probability of the occurrence of listeriosis in pregnant women is very low. 

How to safely consume corn dogs? 

By taking some necessary precautions, we can eliminate even the slight chance of listeriosis. The simple precaution is to cook the corn dogs thoroughly at a minimum of 165 degrees Fahrenheit. 

Use a meat thermometer to monitor the internal temperature. You can also check by simply slicing the meat, if it is steaming in the centre, you are good to go. In any case, corn dogs should not be served cold.

The nutritional composition of corn dogs

Following nutrients are present in a 100 gram serving of corn dogs:

  • Calories: 263
  • Total fat: 11 g
  • Saturated fat: 2.9 g
  • Cholesterol: 45 mg
  • Sodium: 556 mg
  • Potassium: 150 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 32 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Calcium: 5% of the daily value (DV)
  • Iron: 19% of the DV
  • Vitamin B6: 5% of the DV
  • Magnesium:  2% of the DV
  • Cobalamin: 5% of the DV

What sort of corn dogs are risky for pregnant females?

Any corn dogs that are not served hot right after cooking, pose a risk to pregnant women. Examples of corn dogs that could be unsafe to consume in pregnancy are:

  • Any that are raw, straight out the packet or can. Always cook them first until steaming hot.
  • Corn dogs from a street vendor, corn dog stand, gas station, where the corn dogs are kept warm, but not hot.
  • Corn dogs at a BBQ that has been left on a plate for a while after cooking.
  • Corn dogs that have been cooked beforehand and mixed in with a salad.
  • Any corn dog, cooked or raw, that has been poorly stored i.e., left out at room temperature or out of the refrigerator for very long.

Other FAQs about Sausages that you may be interested in.

Can you eat summer sausage casing?

Can you eat summer sausage raw?

Can you eat the casing on ring bologna?


In this short article, we have provided an answer to the question, “Can you eat corn dogs?” with an in-depth analysis of corn dogs, the nutritional value of corn dogs, some reasons why it is not safe for pregnant women to eat corn dogs, and ways to safely consume corn dogs. 


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