Can you eat genoa salami when pregnant?

In this article, we are going to answer the question if you can eat genoa salami when pregnant? Also, we are going to discuss what is genoa salami, if it’s safe during pregnancy, its risks, and side effects, and how you can eat it safely. 

Can you eat salami when pregnant?

It’s better to avoid all kinds of deli meat during your pregnancy, including salami. If you decide that you must eat genoa salami, make sure that it’s fully cooked to prevent any risk of food poisoning. Food poisoning can be very dangerous when pregnant.

What is genoa salami?

Genoa Salami is considered a sectioned deli meat, which means that it’s made from chunks of meat that are mixed to create one piece of meat. It’s a cured sausage that is made of pork meat and veal, previously fermented and air-dried. It’s a hard, garlic-flavored type of salami.

Is salami safe during pregnancy?

As said above, genoa salami is not safe to eat during pregnancy. As with all deli meats, genoa salami must be fully cooked. Physicians usually recommend not to eat genoa salami when pregnant because the risk of food poisoning is very high.

Usually, undercooked genoa salami can have some pathogens that can cause salmonellosis, toxoplasmosis, and listeriosis. If you are pregnant, you better stay away from these pathogens. 

According to the American Pregnancy Association, approximately 2,5000 people will get infected with listeria every year. It means that it’s very rare to get infected but pregnant women are in a more delicate condition and need to be a little more careful because it could lead to fatal health conditions. 

You need to be aware that the riskiest types of food containing genoa salami can be prepackaged meats, cut-to-order genoa salami at the supermarket, or deli sandwiches that you or a loved one don’t prepare.

What are the risks and side effects of eating genoa salami?

The main risk of eating genoa salami undercooked is that you can contract a foodborne illness. When pregnant, this can lead to miscarriage or preterm labor.  The three main diseases you can contract if you eat uncooked ham are toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeriosis. 

According to the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, when you are pregnant and get listeriosis you can experience side effects 10 times more than the general population. 

The main side effects you can experience with a foodborne illness from eating genoa salami:

  • Blood or brain infections
  • Seizures
  • Diarrhea 
  • Vomiting
  • Miscarriage
  • Preterm labor
  • Headaches
  • Muscle pain
  • Fever

What pathogens can I find in genoa salami? 


Listeria monocytogenes are the main bacteria that can be found in undercooked genoa salami. If you let the bacteria go too far, it can cause miscarriage, stillbirth, and other health problems. 


It’s caused by a bacteria called salmonella that can be very dangerous in pregnant women. It also causes digestive symptoms like the other pathogens listed above. 

One important thing about salmonella is that it can cause bacteremia, a condition where there is bacteria in the blood and can be fatal to pregnant women.


Toxoplasmosis is caused by Toxoplasma Gondii. For a normal, healthy person, it usually doesn’t cause any symptoms but for pregnant women, it’s too risky, it can cause serious health problems.  One important thing to add is that once you contract toxoplasmosis you can’t contract it again. 

How to kill salmonella, toxoplasma gondii, and listeria?

To fully kill the pathogens mentioned above you need to cook your salami up to 165 degrees for whole meats plus a 3-minute stand time for safety. 

According to the USDA, “3-minute stand for safety refers to the time that the product remains at the final temperature after it has been removed from the oven, grill, or stove. During the 3 minutes after it has been removed, its temperature remains constant and continues to rise, to kill pathogens’’

How to include it safely in your diet?

To include salami safely, you need to fully cook the salami. You can microwave it or cook it in the oven. If you have doubts about how much time to cook it, cook it until it’s steaming to give enough time for the pathogens to die or you can use a thermometer up to 165* degrees. 

If you want some recipes, click here

Other FAQs about Sausages that you may be interested in.

Does smoked sausage go bad?

Does pickled bologna go bad?

Does pepperoni go bad?

Can you boil frozen sausage?


In this article, we answer the question if you can eat genoa salami during pregnancy. We talked about what is genoa salami, the risks and side effects of eating it, and how to eat it safely. 

If you have any questions, please let me know!