Can you eat hot dog sausages when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer: can you eat hot dog sausages when pregnant, is hot dog sausage healthy, what is the risk of eating hot dog sausage when pregnant, and what is a safe alternative to a hot dog sausage and how can you prepare a hot dog sausage safe to eat. 

Can you eat hot dog sausages when pregnant?

No, sausage is similar to deli meat so it is not recommended to eat because it can contain bacteria. It is recommended to eat only if it has been fully cooked or reheated until steaming hot. 

Is a hot dog sausage healthy?

No, hot dog sausages are not considered healthy. About 80% of the calories come from unhealthy saturated fat. Eating processed meats like a hot dog sausage has been linked to an increase in colon cancer and heart disease because they contain nitrites and nitrates. 

What is the risk of eating hot dog sausages when pregnant?

If you eat hot dog sausages that have not been cooked fully or you didn’t reheat after being cooked, there is a risk of food poisoning. According to the FDA, hot dog sausages can be contaminated with listeria after being processed and packaged at the plant. You need to reheat and cook it always. 

Although nowadays it’s very difficult to catch an infection, sausages are a risk. The three main diseases you can contract if you eat uncooked deli meat are toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeriosis. 

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

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. 

Toxoplasma Gondii is the parasite that causes toxoplasmosis. 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. 

Salmonella is a bacteria 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. 

So why are pregnant women more likely to get infected? Because their immune system is compromised and does not work as well as for a healthy person. Also, remember that while the baby is not fully developed, the baby it’s at risk too. 

Symptoms include

  • Náusea
  • Vomiting
  • Chills and fevers
  • Muscle pain
  • In pregnant women, it may cause flu-like symptoms with fever and chills 

Can pregnant women eat nitrates?

No, this is another reason to stay away from hot dog sausages. There are a lot of studies in this area that confirm that nitrites and nitrates can be harmful to the baby and the mom. 

Medical research shows that a build-up of nitrates and nitrites in your body during pregnancy has been linked to preterm labor accompanied by health complications for the baby. 

There is another research that moms contaminated with nitrates had an increased risk of having babies with cleft palate, spina bifida, and other birth defects. 

How can I prepare a hot dog that is safe to eat?

To be safe you need to heat your hot dog sausage to at least 160 F, you can use a thermometer or wait until it is steaming hot. You can use

  • Oven: bake your hot dog for about 10 minutes at over 160 F. 
  • Boil: boil for about 2 to 3 minutes until is steaming hot
  • Use a microwave: it is not the best option but heats the hot dog sausage for about a minute or two. Use a thermometer to be sure it is over 160 F  inside. 
  • Use a grill: just make sure that is over 160 F inside. 

What is a safe alternative to hot dog sausages?

If you are mouth-watering for a hot dog sausage you can have some safe alternatives like vegan hot dog sausages. They may not taste the same or have the same texture but your baby’s health is worth it. Here is a link to the 11 best vegan hot dog brands so you can safely enjoy your hot dog. 

Other FAQs about Sausages that you may be interested in.

Can you eat jimmy dean sausage when pregnant?

Can you eat Johnsonville brats when pregnant?

Can you eat Italian dry salami when pregnant?

Can you eat IKEA hot dogs when pregnant?


This article answered whether eating hot dog sausages when pregnant is healthy, what is the risk of eating hot dog sausage when pregnant, what is a safe alternative to a hot dog sausage and how can you prepare a hot dog sausage safe to eat.