Eating Deli Meat During Pregnancy


Dear Nutritionist,
I am very worried I did something harmful for my baby. I am 19 weeks pregnant.

I went to Panera for lunch and got a chicken sandwich. I ate a few big bites before it occurred to me that the cold chicken might be a bad idea. I looked it up and realized that we are not to eat cold chicken sandwiches while pregnant.

How badly did I mess up? What are the odds I've hurt by baby?


As long as the chicken was fully cooked through before being chilled it should be fine. It is undercooked chicken that you need to worry about, not whether it is served hot or cold. However, if you still have concerns you should speak to your physician.

-- Kimberly, RD LD

Kimberly Tessmer

Kimberly A. Tessmer, RD LD has been a registered dietitian since 1992 and is also an Ohio licensed Dietitian. Her educational achievements include a Bachelor of Science in Technology (Dietetics) from Bowling State University in Bowling Green, OH. She currently owns and operates a consulting business called "Nutrition Focus", in which she specializes and offers services in the areas of weight management, general nutrition, authoring, menu development and a variety of other services.

To date Kim has authored three books including "The Everything® Nutrition Book", "Tell Me What To Eat If I Have Celiac Disease", and "The Everything® Pregnancy Nutrition Book". In addition, Kim has written numerous articles for various health/nutrition web sites and magazines including Bally Total Fitness Magazine, Well and Healthy Women Magazine and, Inc as well as continuing education courses for She is a member of the American Dietetic Association and the ADA Practice Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs.