They’re an all-American classic. But can you eat hot dogs while pregnant? And if not, how come? We’ll give you the (foot) long and short of it. 🌭
They’re quick, convenient, and easy to eat, sometimes even if you’re dealing with pregnancy nausea.
Unfortunately, hot dogs are also pretty high on a lot of people’s lists of foods to avoid during pregnancy.
So what’s the big problem?
Can pregnant women eat hot dogs?
And if not, why?
In this article: 📝
- What’s the matter with hot dogs during pregnancy?
- Can I eat hot dogs during pregnancy?
- How to cook hot dogs while pregnant
- “I ate a hot dog during pregnancy, what do I do now?”
- What about other comfort foods while pregnant?
What’s the matter with hot dogs during pregnancy?
You’ve probably noticed that lots of people have lots of opinions about what you should or shouldn’t be doing (or eating) during pregnancy.
You don’t necessarily have to listen to all of them but, it can sometimes be worth paying attention, just to be on the safe side.
The two main concerns about pork hot dogs during pregnancy are:
- They’re not particularly good for you, and they’re not going to cover a lot of nutritional bases for either you or your baby. (But let’s be honest, that probably wasn’t why you were craving one in the first place.)
- Hot dogs have been linked to a pretty nasty form of food poisoning called listeriosis.
Eating hot dogs while pregnant carries the same risk as eating any other kind of deli meat which has been pre-cooked and then served cold.
They can become contaminated by a type of bacteria called listeria after they’ve been pre-cooked.
It’s this type of bacteria that can cause listeriosis ‒ and pregnant people can be more susceptible to getting listeriosis, so it’s worth being aware of.
Can I eat hot dogs during pregnancy?
Yes, you can eat hot dogs while pregnant, but there are a few things you should know.
It all starts with listeria ‒ a horrible bacteria that can potentially harm both you and baby.
But it’s also pretty easy to kill if food is cooked all the way through.
If your hot dog has been grilled or boiled to an internal temperature of 165°F and it’s served hot, it’ll be safe to eat.
That’s pretty much it — always cook a hot dog thoroughly before you eat it, regardless of whether you think it has been pre-cooked.
Eating hot dogs while pregnant becomes more complicated when you’re not cooking them yourself.
For example, street vendors often keep their hot dogs warm in water, but that water’s not usually hot enough to remove the risk of food poisoning.
This could allow for a small (but very real) possibility of listeria infection, so it’s generally best to wait until your babe is born before you grab one of these old favorites again.
So, if you’re in control, eat hot dogs to your heart’s content.
If someone else is doing the cooking and you can’t see it happening, it might be best to steer clear.
Can you eat hot dogs during pregnancy in the first trimester?
Yes, you can eat hot dogs in the first trimester of your pregnancy ‒ as long as they’re thoroughly cooked all the way through, to 165°F, and served steaming hot (not lukewarm).
Sure, they’re not the most nutritious option for pregnancy meals, but they can help kick cravings and sometimes tackle nausea, so they’re fine as an occasional treat.
But remember to always cook them first, even if you think they’re pre-cooked, and serve them hot.
After all, they’re called hot dogs for a reason.
Can you eat all beef hot dogs while pregnant?
Yes, all-beef hot dogs are fine to eat while pregnant, but they must be cooked thoroughly and served hot.
But if you’re craving that beefy bite, go for it ‒ as long as you can guarantee it’s been cooked thoroughly and is hot.
Can I eat fried hot dogs while pregnant?
Yes, you can eat fried (or even deep-fried) hot dogs while pregnant ‒ although again, they’re not exactly nutritionally beneficial.
As long as they’re cooked all the way through and served hot, they should be fine to eat.
Frying hot dogs in a pan is a quick and easy way to cook them, but be sure to cook them over a medium heat for about 8-10 minutes so they’re thoroughly cooked.
How to cook hot dogs while pregnant
So how do you cook hot dogs while pregnant?
Well, the key is heat.
Whether you boil, grill, fry, or microwave them is up to you, as long as you’re sure they’re thoroughly cooked all the way through, to 165°F, as you eat them hot (not lukewarm or uncooked).
How long to boil hot dogs while pregnant
Cooking hot dogs while pregnant doesn’t mean you have to heat them out of their flavor ‒ boiling them still doesn’t even take that long!
Usually about 4 minutes at a rolling boil (when the water’s bubbling constantly) should do the trick ‒ 2 minutes to get the hot dogs up to the right temperature (165°F), then another 2 minutes to keep them at that temperature, to make sure any traces of listeria have been boiled away.
Once they’re cooked, serve them straight away ‒ don’t leave them to cool down too much, or let them sit in warm (not boiling) water.
Can I eat microwaved hot dogs while pregnant?
Can you eat microwaved hot dogs when pregnant?
Yes, microwaved hot dogs are safe to eat while pregnant, as long as they’re cooked thoroughly and served hot.
Whether you put your hot dog in a bowl of water is up to you, but at full power for about 1-2 minutes should do the trick.
“I ate a hot dog during pregnancy, what do I do now?”
If your hot dog was served piping hot and you know it was cooked thoroughly, then just relax and enjoy your treat.
But if the hot dog was served cold, lukewarm, raw, straight out of the packet, from a hot dog stand, or left off the heat for a while (long enough to get cold or lukewarm), then it’s better to avoid them.
If you have eaten a hot dog that was cold or lukewarm, stay hydrated and keep an eye on how you’re feeling.
Here are the symptoms of listeria and food poisoning to be on the lookout for:
If you have any of these symptoms ‒ whether you’ve eaten a raw or lukewarm hot dog or not ‒ get in touch with your doctor, just in case.
What about other comfort foods while pregnant?
Fancy something else that you’re not sure about?
Check out these most popular comfort foods during pregnancy, and whether they’re safe to eat.
Can I eat a burger while pregnant?
As an alternative to hot dogs, burgers can be a safer option because they’re usually cooked fresh and to a higher temperature.
Again, it’s the cooking that matters.
Just make sure that your burger has been cooked until there’s no pink left inside and it’s steaming hot before you eat it.
Can eating spicy food while pregnant harm the baby?
Got a craving for chili dogs?
Spicy foods won’t harm your little peanut.
Some people swear that if your baby is ready to put in an appearance, a little chili will give them the “push out the door” that they need.
We can’t prove that’s true, but we do know that spicy foods won’t do anything to hurt unborn babies.
On the other hand, think about yourself, mama.
While your little one might not care that you’re ladling on the hot sauce, it definitely can lead to heartburn, which is already a pretty unpleasant pregnancy symptom.
Maybe keep the antacids on hand if you are going to turn up the heat.
So, hot dogs while pregnant are safe, as long as they’re properly cooked and served hot ‒ so enjoy, mama! 🌭
If you’re still stumped for pregnancy-safe meals and snacks, take a look at 14 scrummy foods to eat while pregnant, what to eat when pregnant (a vitamin by vitamin account), and our pregnancy meal plan.
And don’t forget, you can talk about all things cravings, weird pregnancy rules, and perfect backyard BBQs with other women in the Peanut community.