Turkey in itself is a healthy food choice during pregnancy as it is a rich source of vitamins, minerals and proteins. However, there are certain dos and don’ts involved. Opt for fresh, lean, organic, pasture-raised turkeys as they contain higher amount of omega-3 fats. Grass fed turkeys are richer in nutrients and flavour than their factory-farmed counterparts that are injected with salt, water, preservatives and antibiotics to extend their shelf life. Whenever possible remove the skin of the turkey to get lean meat that is low in fat and calories. Always cook the turkey until it’s densest part has a temperature of 165°F/75°C. This is the single most important step in ensuring that the turkey you are consuming is safe.
While turkey has many health benefits for a pregnant woman and her baby, it also carries with it the risk of food borne diseases like listeria, campylobacter jejuni, salmonella and clostridium perfringens. One in six cases of listeriosis are reported in a pregnant woman. Therefore, the CDC recommends to never consume cold cuts or other deli meats unless they are heated at an internal temperature of 165°F/75°C or until they are steaming hot.