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Old 05-03-2012, 02:24 PM   #1
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I know lunch meat has to be heated before preggos eat it but what about a slice of ham? Im making pasta salad for a picnic with a thick slice of fully cooked ham. I could heat it now but then its going in the fridge until tomorrow. Would I have to reheat it to make it safe? I wont be able to heat it so should I just keep it seperate?

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Old 05-03-2012, 03:15 PM   #2
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I have always eaten lunch meat cold with no issues. I am assuming that this has to do with bacteria? The risks are very low, so I say go for it!
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:29 PM   #3
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Re: A ? about ham...

I was trying to figure this out during easter. I ate a bunch of cold leftover ham I think it's mainly deli meat than is the cause for listeria.
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Old 05-03-2012, 03:48 PM   #4
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Re: A ? about ham...

I heard it is mostly the deli meat they slice for you. The ones that are prepackaged are ok and so I would think the ham would be fine. I eat it from the deli, though, no problems.
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Old 05-03-2012, 04:08 PM   #5
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Re: A ? about ham...

Ok, so this is what I've learned about listeriosis through working with meats. I have been a delicatessen in the past and have gone through food safety courses.

The reason why lunch meats are such a risk is because even though these meats are cooked and packaged safely in plants (the bacteria is killed then) once they get to your deli and they are opened, sliced (on a poss. contaminated surface), put on any surface (with contamination) or even the air and then put in the big refrigeration case ONE single cell of listeriosis can continue to grow. It takes one cell. Listeriosis continues to flourish when cold. If you want to be super safe see if the package says it contains added sodium lactate. This helps the risk go down. Almost all packaged pre-cooked meats contain it now.

If you wanted to be extra safe with the ham (though I don't think you have to) I'd prepare the entire pasta salad without it. Store it over night covered in the fridge and then add it before you leave. I am sure your meat is perfectly fine since you are getting it packaged and already sanitized. The real risk for pregnant women is lunch meat because of how it is handled and not every handler of the meat is always informed. Sorry that was so long, I hope I cleared up some of the fear for anyone curious and pregnant.
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Old 05-03-2012, 07:10 PM   #6
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Oh ok! Thanks for explaining all that The package does say it contains soduim howeveryouspellit. I LOVE ham-especially in pasta salad.
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Old 05-07-2012, 07:53 PM   #7
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Re: A ? about ham...

So the prepackaged lunchmeat is okay, but the nice stuff from the deli is where the risk is? I didn't know that...
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