Can You Eat Chicken Salad While Pregnant?

chicken salad in pregnancy

While pregnant, everything from what you eat or even apply to your hair, such as hair dye, may have a substantial impact on your developing baby.

Chicken salad is a popular food that is often eaten during pregnancy. However, eating chicken salad can harm a pregnant woman’s health, depending on how it’s cooked.

While chicken salad is generally a healthy lunch option, it’s important to be aware that some chicken salad ingredients can be harmful when consumed by pregnant women. The cold chicken in the salads may develop bacteria that may make pregnant women sick.

Moreover, if you’re eating a pre-made chicken salad, it may contain high levels of sodium, which can lead to hypertension and other health problems in pregnant women. Keep reading to find out more if you can safely consume chicken salad while pregnant.

How to Safely Consume Chicken Salad While Pregnant?

eating chicken salad while pregnant

Apart from premade deli chicken, you may consume home-cooked or canned chicken salad. However, the best way to eat chicken salad while pregnant is to cook it yourself in a safe environment with fresh ingredients.

Try the homemade chicken salad

Making your favorite chicken salad is a great way to ensure you get the most nutritious option and delicious food possible while pregnant. This recipe is perfect for a light and healthy lunch or dinner and can be made in just a few minutes.

Start with fresh, quality chicken. Chicken that has been frozen or pre-cooked will not give you the same quality of results when making this recipe. You must roast chicken and let it cool before adding it to the salad during pregnancy.

Keep everything chilled before serving. This can be served as part of a larger meal alongside other sources of protein and vegetables. Learn from a breastfeeding cookbook to make more delicious meals before and after delivery.

Why Should You Avoid Deli Chicken?

chicken salad during pregnancy

When pregnant, it is important to be aware of the potential health risks associated with food items. The most common dangers during pregnancy include high blood pressure, gestational diabetes, miscarriage, stillbirth, and pre-eclampsia. One particularly risky food item is deli chicken.

Deli chicken is a type of poultry that has been processed in a way that may leave them with traces of bacteria. Consuming this may cause infection in your pregnant body. Therefore, it is important to avoid deli chicken whenever you are pregnant.

If you eat this type of poultry, cook it thoroughly, so all the harmful ingredients are cooked. In addition, consider choosing lower-sodium alternatives when dining out or making your meals.

Additionally, some ingredients in a chicken salad may also be unsafe for pregnant women to consume due to their potential estrogenic effects. As such, it’s best to steer clear of premade chicken salad while pregnant unless you can find an alternative recipe that meets all of your dietary needs.

What if you accidentally consumed deli meat while pregnant?

If you are pregnant and consume deli meat, there is a small but potentially dangerous risk of exposure to E. coli bacteria and Listeria monocytogenes, aka listeria. E. coli can cause severe diarrhea, which may be life-threatening in pregnant women if not treated promptly.

Usually, these bacteria are killed after pasteurization and cooking. To minimize this, the meat and chicken may be sprayed with food additives to prevent listeria and E. coli.

Therefore, the chance of getting sick may be reduced but is never zero. If you develop diarrhea after consuming deli meat, speak to your healthcare provider immediately.

Listeria Infection in Pregnant Women

Pregnant women are at high risk for contracting listeria infection. Listeria bacteria are found in uncooked dairy and poultry items. Pregnant women are more likely to contract listeria than adults because their immune systems are weaker.

If you’re pregnant and think you’ve contracted listeria, contact your doctor immediately. Your doctor will run tests to confirm that you have the infection and will recommend treatments if necessary.

Symptoms of listeria:

  • Severe flu-like symptoms
  • Muscle aches or tiredness
  • Extreme nausea

Foods to Avoid When Pregnant

chicken salad pregnancy

When pregnant, it is important to avoid foods that can cause harm to the unborn baby. Some of the most common sicknesses that may be caused by food are morning sickness, food poisoning, and gestational diabetes.

There are a few things you must avoid in particular:

Raw eggs

It’s a no-brainer why pregnant women should avoid eating raw eggs. Raw eggs can contain bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Also, avoid homemade mayonnaise, ice-creams, cake icing, and poached eggs.

Fruit juices

It’s high in sugar and can increase your risk of developing gestational diabetes.

Raw Sprouts

Raw sprouts are a potential source of foodborne illness for pregnant women. Fresh sprouts are safest to eat when cooked, but if they must be eaten raw, they can cause serious problems for pregnant women.

Raw sprouts can contain harmful bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria that can lead to serious health problems in newborns.

Hot dogs

They are a common source of food poisoning. They also contain nitrates which could lead to birth defects if you get pregnant while you are still infected with the bacteria that causes food poisoning.-Ice cream: ice cream is high in sugar and can cause nausea and vomiting in pregnant women.


Avoid eating sushi, sashimi, raw oysters, clams, scallops, and ceviche. You may eat cooked/smoked seafood at 165°F to kill harmful germs.

Wrapping Up

If you’re having chicken salad craving during pregnancy, the best is to make it yourself and ensure that the chicken is roasted at a high temperature to kill the bacteria. It’s best to avoid deli salad or any premade food that may have a risk of developing listeria.

With some caution, you can enjoy your favorite foods during pregnancy and deliver your baby safely. Check out this last-minute prep checklist before the baby comes.


Is a cold chicken salad sandwich safe during pregnancy?

If you eat chicken when it’s still warm, you won’t get sick from eating it during pregnancy. You should avoid eating any kind of cooked chicken from the deli or cold-cooked chicken.

What happens if I eat raw meat while pregnant?

Toxoplasmosis, however, can raise the chance of miscarriage, stillbirth, or harm to the developing baby’s organs in women who are pregnant. In particular, the infant may experience visual impairment if the mother has toxoplasmosis while she is pregnant.

What lunch meat can you eat while pregnant?

Listeria may withstand cold temperatures, so there is still a potential that they might get you ill. However, chicken that has been freshly cooked and is still in the warmer is safe. In summary, you should avoid eating deli meat that is still warm off the counter.

What if you eat unpasteurized cheese while pregnant?

Listeria is a bacterium that may produce moderate flu-like symptoms in most people but can be very harmful to unborn infants. It can be found in soft chees, unpasteurized cheese, Brie, Camemberts, blue-veined cheese, and goat as well. Ready-to-eat meat products, including hotdogs and deli meat.

Can you eat salad leaves when pregnant?

Pre-made salads and sprouted seed foods should be avoided when you are pregnant. However, as long as you refrigerate them in a sealed bag or container and consume them before their use-by date, you may consume pre-washed salad leaves.

Can you eat beef meat spread when pregnant?

It is okay to eat beef while pregnant as long as it is fully cooked to a steaming temperature with no pink or blood left. Undercooked meat should not be consumed during pregnancy.