There are so many dos and don’ts when it comes to food and drinks during pregnancy. You're told to eat lots of leafy greens and healthy favorites, but you're not allowed to eat certain cheeses or your favorite sushi dish. So what about grabbing a quick bite at your favorite restaurant? If you’re a sandwich nut like me, you might be wondering, are Subway sandwiches OK to eat during pregnancy?
So the good news is you can still enjoy those foot long subs, as long as you take some precautions. According to the American Pregnancy Association (APA), pregnant women should avoid eating deli meat sandwiches with cold meats like turkey, ham, or roast beef. So if you were planning on eating a Subway Club sandwich, you might be out of luck. (Unless you toast it.)
But why the war on deli meats during pregnancy? The APA explained that cold meats could be contaminated with Listeria, which can cross the placenta to infect the baby, cause blood poisoning, and may even cause a miscarriage. The website noted that listeria is usually killed by heating or cooking, but meats can still get contaminated, even if they are fully cooked. And since restaurants like Subway don’t reheat the meat they put in their sandwiches, there’s a risk of contamination.
But you’ve been eating deli meats your whole life — why worry now? The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that pregnant women are 20 times more likely to get infected with listeriosis when compared to other non-pregnant healthy adults, which means you’re more of a risk than you were before you got pregnant. So if it’s a ham sandwich you're after, it’s better to wait until after your delivery.
The good news is that Subway still has a variety of options that are safe for pregnant moms. The APA noted that Subway recommended their steak and cheese, oven-roasted chicken, meatball, and tuna sandwiches for pregnant women. The rule to remember is that the meat in your sandwiches should be hot, not cold. So go ahead, get your Subway groove on, just skip out on the luncheon meat (or have it toasted), and don’t forget the cookies.