Is It Safe To Eat Pizza During Pregnancy?


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Do you want to relish a slice of pizza during your pregnancy and wondering if it is okay or not? Well, you are not alone, then, many would be moms think the same before ordering pizzas. So what’s the truth? Is it harmful?

A tasty, delicious and easily available Italian delicacy that is a favourite of people in every corner of the globe is pizza. However, when it comes to consumption by expecting mothers, even the safest foods need to be consumed with caution. Pizza sometimes contains ingredients that are potential carriers of harmful microbes which, on consumption, may affect you and your baby’s the health.

Problems with Pizza During Pregnancy:

The otherwise safe-to-eat pizza can sometimes pose health issues during pregnancy. You should be aware of the kind of pizzas that are safe and carefully choose your toppings. A few concerns associated with pizza ingredients are:

1. Cheese:

The generous layer of cheese over the pizza, which is a prime reason behind its wonderful taste can be a cause of concern to eat pizza during pregnancy.Mould ripened cheese such as soft wind rind cheese like brie, chevre, and camembert are unhealthy to consume while pregnant. Also soft blue veined cheese like gorgonzola Danish blue, gorgonzola and Roquefort should be avoided.
Soft cheese contains more moisture than hard cheese. These conditions of soft cheese make it the ideal ground for harmful bacteria like Listeria to grow in. Listeria rarely causes infection otherwise, but may prove harmful and cause Listeriosis in fragile would be moms. However, even the slightest form of illness in you can be dangerous directly causing harm to your foetus.

[ Read: Noodles During Pregnancy ]

2. Raw, Uncooked and Cold Meat:

Pizza containing rare, undercooked or cold meat, like Parma ham, salami, pepperoni, chorizo etc., in their toppings can lead to toxoplasmosis. This is an infectious disease which is caused by parasites present in soil, untreated water and meat. If you during your pregnancy get infected with any of these parasites, it can cause severe damage to your baby. There are no identifiable symptoms of toxoplasmosis but when suspected, you should immediately consult a gynaecologist and seek treatment.

3. Shell Fish:

Pizzas containing shell fish toppings like prawns, scallops and mussels, if not cooked thoroughly, can cause bacterial and viral infections. Expecting moms should refrain from consuming such shell fish containing uncooked pizzas in order to avoid harming your baby.

[ Read: Pepperoni While You Are Pregnant  ]

Solutions and Precautions:

Eating pizza during pregnancy is safe if cooked completely and eaten with healthy toppings while piping hot. Here are some tips to make sure that your pizza is safe for you and your unborn baby.

  • Cooking the pizza at high temperature helps to kill microbes thereby preventing the risk of infection for both you and your baby.
  • Pizza should be consumed while piping hot, as the microbes killed by the heat start to reform as the food starts cooling.
  • It is considered safer to consume hard cheese like cheddar, parmesan, etc., whether made from pasteurized milk or unpasteurized milk. This is because these varieties of cheese are low in water content as compared to soft cheese and hence are less favorable for microbial growth.
  • Cooked, mould-ripened soft cheese like mozzarella, ricotta, cottage cheese, feta, etc., can be consumed only if you are 100% sure that they have been produced from pasteurized milk. It should be ensured that soft cheese that is being used in the pizza is thoroughly cooked and served while steaming hot.
  • All poultry and meat to be used to top your pizza should be cooked thoroughly and should be served steaming hot.
  • You can consume pizza made with shellfish toppings only if the fish is properly cooked at high temperature.
  • If you are preparing a pizza, raw meat should be touched with clean and washed hands.
  • The utensils to be used for cooking should be washed well before and after the cooking process to ensure elimination of bugs and microbes from the vessel.
  • Clean and safe water should be used for the preparation of the pizza.

[ Read: Is It Safe To Eat Chinese Food During Pregnancy? ]

If you are expecting and having a dilemma to give up or not eating these cheesy delights, you can now breathe a sigh of relief. As long as you take these precautions, there is no reason why you can’t enjoy a slice of divine pizza now and then! Hope this article answered your question can we eat pizza during pregnancy or not.
Do share your pizza stories with Momjunction in the comment section below:

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