The pregnant woman’s guide to BBQ safety


From floppy sun hats to sandals, the signs of summer are all around us. With this deliciously sunny season comes one more reason to celebrate: The backyard barbecue. But before you enjoy another grill-fest with your friends, take a moment to read up on important prenatal safety measures. Keep you and your little one safe from harm by raising an eyebrow to these barbecue treats:

Hot dogs

Hot dogs and deli meats may be contaminated with a harmful bacteria called listeria. For most cases, listeria causes no more than uncomfortable flu-like symptoms. But for others – especially expectant moms and their babies – listeria can be dangerous to mess with. Keep your little one safe by heating your hot dog to 165 degrees Fahrenheit. The meat should steam when sliced.

Potato salad

Food safety is hardly a priority at backyard barbecues. For you, however, it’s of the utmost importance. If a creamy potato or pasta salad has been sitting out for more than two hours (make that one hour on a day that’s hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit), steer clear of it. Foods that contain dairy or an animal protein can attract bacteria when not refrigerated properly. This bacteria can make you sick – and may harm your baby and his or development.

Homemade ice cream

If the host of the party proudly passes around homemade ice cream cones, take a pause before digging in. Be sure to ask the chef if his or her ice cream contains uncooked eggs, as raw eggs may be contaminated with salmonella. For pregnant women, this bacteria can cause serious and life-threatening issues for both mom and baby.


Resist the urge to top salads and burgers with a handful of alfalfa sprouts. Raw sprouts are notorious for being contaminated with bacteria such as E. coli, salmonella and listeria.


Chances are that punch bowl is brimming with fruit, juice and alcohol. Need a refreshment? Tap your host to dish on the ingredients first before you pour yourself a glass.

Are you fielding invitations for backyard celebrations this summer? What are some ways you’re ensuring your food choices are the safest they can be now that you’re pregnant? Tell us all about them in the comment section below!

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