Pregnancy is an exciting time but it seems like there are so many rules about what you can and can’t eat.
Every time you reach for something tasty that you really want, you have to run through a mental checklist of eating do’s and don’ts!
And when you’re out and about, it’s not always easy to access highly nutritious foods that meet all the criteria.
What about bakery food? Can you eat sausage rolls when pregnant? Let’s find out.
Foods to avoid when pregnant
You’re in the food court, and just about to put that tasty morsel into your mouth. You notice someone at the next table looking at you, then at your baby bump, then back at the food you’re holding.
What’s a pregnant mama to do? It’s hard to enjoy food when everyone has an opinion about what you should and shouldn’t eat. The last thing you want to do is harm your baby!
Realistically, the list of foods to avoid isn’t as long as you think.
For some foods, it’s a matter of whether they’re fresh or stored, or about making sure the food is heated properly – for example, heated to steaming and eaten soon after.
Check out your local health authority for information about foods to avoid during pregnancy. This handy guide is from the NSW Government’s Health Authority.
The most important thing to remember about avoiding certain foods during pregnancy is some are more prone to contamination and bacteria than others.
Some foods have a higher risk of causing problems for you and your baby, such as:
- Listeria infection (can cause miscarriage, stillbirth or premature birth)
- Salmonella poisoning (can cause miscarriage, although rare)
- Toxoplasmosis (can cause brain and eye damage in the baby).
These complications usually occur due to certain foods not being prepared or stored properly.
Other foods, such as fish, might be high in mercury or a type of vitamin A.
For these reasons, when you’re choosing what to eat during pregnancy, it’s important to know whether or not the food is freshly made, properly cooked, and stored correctly.
For more information about this checkout BellyBelly’s article What Foods Can You Eat During Pregnancy?.
Can you eat sausage rolls when pregnant?
When it comes to sausage rolls, what’s the verdict? Can you eat sausage rolls when pregnant and avoid problems?
Sausage rolls are made of minced meat and pastry. The meat is usually either beef or pork, and can also include salt, fat, flavour enhancers, spices and sugar.
As long as the meat is cooked thoroughly and completely, then sausage rolls are safe to eat during pregnancy.
The sausage roll should be cooked so the inside isn’t pink at all. If the sausage roll is reheated, it should be heated to steaming, or thoroughly cooked to at least 75C.
You should eat the sausage roll very soon after heating.
Can you eat cold sausage rolls when pregnant?
If you buy freshly made sausage rolls already cooked and chilled, then they should be fine to eat cold.
Always ask the server when the rolls were made, and how long they’ve been in the chiller.
If you make your own sausage rolls and they have been cooked properly then chilled, it’s fine to eat them cold. See below about chilling and storing foods correctly.
Can I eat homemade sausage rolls when pregnant?
Homemade sausage rolls are great to calm that craving! Buy the best quality sausage mince you can find; butchers often sell their own ‘special recipe’ mince.
You can add to the meat whatever vegetables you like (we love carrot and onion).
Always make sure your utensils and chopping boards are clean, and wash your hands before beginning.
When cooking homemade sausage rolls, make sure they’re cooked all the way through – at least 25-30 minutes at 200C.
Eat them freshly baked, straight from the oven. If you have leftovers, cool them in the fridge, then freeze. You should thaw frozen sausage rolls in the fridge or microwave, not at room temperature.
Make sure you reheat frozen homemade sausage rolls to steaming hot before eating.
When not to eat a sausage roll when pregnant?
We’ve covered the question ‘Can you eat sausage rolls when pregnant’? Mostly, the answer is ‘Yes’.
When is it not ok to eat a sausage roll during pregnancy?
Most meat and pastry products, such as sausage rolls and pies, are high in fat and salt. This isn’t too bad if you only eat them occasionally.
Research has shown high levels of salt or sodium in the diet during pregnancy can affect your baby’s renal (kidney) development.
Healthy fats are an important part of your diet, but the type of fat in sausage mince and pastry isn’t the kind you want to eat on a daily basis.
The various spices added to sausage mince can also lead to heartburn, which is something that most pregnant women want to avoid.
Stay away from sausage rolls kept in warming ovens. You have no idea how long the products have been sitting there, and it’s hard to tell how hot they are. They could be a perfect breeding ground for bacteria.
Don’t eat a sausage roll unless it’s piping hot when it’s served to you. You want to make sure the meat inside has been heated thoroughly.
Basic food storage, safety and reheating for pregnant women
It’s important to practise safe food handling when you’re pregnant. If in doubt, don’t eat food that you’re concerned about.
A good food handling checklist:
- Shop for chilled or frozen food last, and put them into a cold bag with an ice pack
- Put cold foods in the fridge as soon as possible. Raw meat should be on the lowest shelves to prevent the juices dripping onto other foods
- Always store eggs in the fridge
- Defrost meats in the fridge overnight or use a microwave to thaw them. Don’t thaw meat at room temperature
- Wash your hands with soap and water before preparing food or eating
- Clean all utensils, workbenches and dishcloths with soap and hot water
- Keep raw and cooked foods separate; use different knives and boards for each
- Ensure cooked foods are heated thoroughly as this will kill most bacteria
- Cool food quickly and put it into the fridge as soon as it has stopped steaming
- Always eat leftovers within 24 hours, and reheat to steaming hot
- Don’t eat food that’s been left out of the fridge for more than 2 hours
- Keep your fridge clean and set the temperature below 5C
- Follow the ‘best before’ and ‘use by’ dates and the instructions for storage.
When eating out, or buying food, always check with servers or food staff about storage time and temperature. If in doubt about any food, don’t risk eating it.
So if someone asks ‘Can you eat sausage rolls when pregnant?’ this information should help to dispel some of the concerns.