Can you eat IKEA meatballs when pregnant?

In this article we are going to answer can you eat IKEA meatballs when pregnant, what is IKEA, are IKEA meatballs healthy to eat, what is the risk of eating undercooked meatballs, how can I safely cook meatballs and a healthier option for meatballs. 

Can you eat IKEA meatballs when pregnant?

Yes, you can eat IKEA meatballs when pregnant but always in moderation. Also, you need to be sure that the meatballs have been cooked thoroughly with an internal temperature of 160 F or 71 C to reduce the risk of food poisoning. 

What is IKEA?

IKEA is a multinational group of companies founded in Sweden. They sell ready-to-assemble furniture, kitchenware, and home accessories. IKEA is the biggest furniture company in the world, with over 400 stores worldwide. 

They offer a range of food products inspired by Swedish traditions. The menu varies from country to country. 

Are IKEA meatballs healthy to eat when pregnant?

IKEA meatballs can be safely eaten when pregnant. They can be part of a healthy and balanced diet for those days you don’t feel like cooking. They are made from processed beef and pork mince, water, eff, breadcrumbs, salt, and pepper. 

5 IKEA meatballs contain:

  • 190 calories
  • 11 grams of protein
  • 14 grams of total fat
  • 5 grams of saturated fat
  • 45 mg of cholesterol
  • 4 grams of carbohydrates
  • 370 mg of sodium

In general, when pregnant you should follow a healthy diet. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and healthy fats. 

A few nutrients need special attention during pregnancy, like folic acid, calcium, vitamin D, and omega 3 fatty acids. 

  • Ideally, 2 servings of fruit and 5 servings of vegetables every day
  • Increase your intake of whole grains and cereal foods. Choose high fiber options
  • Milk, hard cheese, and yogurt are great options because they are high calcium foods.
  • Choose low-fat options and good fats: fats from vegetable sources like almonds, olive oil, and avocado. 
  • Choose lean proteins and choose low mercury fish options. 
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Always stay active
  • Avoid junk food whenever possible, it should not be part of regular meals
  • Check the labels before buying processed food to make the best option
  • Avoid buying canned food with syrup, look for canned food with plain/spring water or olive oil. 
  • Avoid pre-cooked or ready meals
  • Choose low-fat options 
  • Avoid food with added sugars
  • Avoid processed/undercooked meat
  • Skip fast-food restaurants, instead, try to do healthy meals at home 

What is the risk of eating undercooked meatballs when pregnant?

If you eat meatballs 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, meatballs 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, pre-cooked meatballs are a risk. The three main diseases you can contract if you eat uncooked meatballs are toxoplasmosis, salmonella, and listeriosis. 

Listeria monocytogenes are the main bacteria that can be found in undercooked meatballs. 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

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

How can I heat or cook meatballs that are safe to eat?

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

  • Oven: bake your meatballs 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 meatballs 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 are healthier options than IKEA meatballs?

IKEA meatballs can be added to your healthy diet but it is always best to do food at home. You can make very similar meatballs from scratch. Here is the recipe. 

Conclusion

This article answered can you eat IKEA meatballs when pregnant, what is IKEA, are IKEA meatballs healthy to eat, what is the risk of eating undercooked meatballs, how can I safely cook meatballs and a healthier option for meatballs. 

Citation

https://www.nutritionix.com/i/ikea-grocery/meatballs/5615bd9211cafd92454fa72e

Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.